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Effect of age and body weight on neurohumoral variables in healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Anders S. ErikssonDepartment of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Helsinki University, Finland.
Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

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Anna-Kaisa JärvinenDepartment of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Helsinki University, Finland.

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 DVM, PhD
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Kari K. EklundDepartment of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

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Olli J. VuolteenahoDepartment of Physiology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

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Mervi H. ToivariInstitute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Chemistry, Helsinki University, Finland.

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Markku S. NieminenDepartment of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of age and body weight on several neurohumoral variables that are commonly altered in heart failure in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Animals—17 healthy privately owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 10 males and 7 females, ranging in age from 0.4 to 9.7 years, and ranging in body weight from 6.6 to 12.2 kg.

Procedure—The clinical condition of the dogs was evaluated by physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography. Plasma nitrate and nitrite (P-NN), N-terminal atrial natriuretic and brain natriuretic peptides (NT-ANP and BNP, respectively), endothelin (ET-1), urine cyclic guanosine monophosphate (UcGMP), and urine nitrate and nitrite (U-NN) concentrations were analyzed.

Results—Plasma concentrations of NT-ANP and P-NN increased significantly with age, but plasma NT-ANP and P-NN also correlated significantly, irrespective of age. A modest increase of left atrial size did not explain the increase of NT-ANP and P-NN with age. Concentration of ET-1 correlated positively with heart rate; heart rate did not change with age. Weight had a negative impact on NT-ANP, P-NN, and U-cGMP concentrations and left atrial relative size.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age-matched controls are essential for evaluation of NT-ANP and PNN concentrations and left atrial size. Weight may alter reference values of plasma NT-ANP, P-NN, and urine cGMP concentrations. Natriuretic peptides can be used as further evidence that heart failure exists. The increased plasma concentrations of NT-ANP (but not BNP) and P-NN with aging reflect neurohumoral physiologic changes that must be distinguished from pathologic changes in patients with heart failure. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1818–1824)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of age and body weight on several neurohumoral variables that are commonly altered in heart failure in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Animals—17 healthy privately owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 10 males and 7 females, ranging in age from 0.4 to 9.7 years, and ranging in body weight from 6.6 to 12.2 kg.

Procedure—The clinical condition of the dogs was evaluated by physical examination, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography. Plasma nitrate and nitrite (P-NN), N-terminal atrial natriuretic and brain natriuretic peptides (NT-ANP and BNP, respectively), endothelin (ET-1), urine cyclic guanosine monophosphate (UcGMP), and urine nitrate and nitrite (U-NN) concentrations were analyzed.

Results—Plasma concentrations of NT-ANP and P-NN increased significantly with age, but plasma NT-ANP and P-NN also correlated significantly, irrespective of age. A modest increase of left atrial size did not explain the increase of NT-ANP and P-NN with age. Concentration of ET-1 correlated positively with heart rate; heart rate did not change with age. Weight had a negative impact on NT-ANP, P-NN, and U-cGMP concentrations and left atrial relative size.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Age-matched controls are essential for evaluation of NT-ANP and PNN concentrations and left atrial size. Weight may alter reference values of plasma NT-ANP, P-NN, and urine cGMP concentrations. Natriuretic peptides can be used as further evidence that heart failure exists. The increased plasma concentrations of NT-ANP (but not BNP) and P-NN with aging reflect neurohumoral physiologic changes that must be distinguished from pathologic changes in patients with heart failure. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1818–1824)