Prospective evaluation of NT-proBNP assay to detect occult dilated cardiomyopathy and predict survival in Doberman Pinschers. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Occult (asymptomatic) dilated cardiomyopathy (ODCM) is highly prevalent in Doberman Pinschers. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: Assess ability of NT-proBNP assay to detect ODCM and predict death. ANIMALS: 155 asymptomatic Dobermans presenting for ODCM screening. METHODS: Echocardiography, 24-hour Holter, and NT-proBNP assay were performed prospectively. Diagnosis was based on increased left ventricular end-systolic dimension, >50 ventricular premature complexes (VPCs), or both on Holter. Utility was evaluated using receiver-operating characteristic curves. Effect of age, weight, sex, disease status, VPCs, and NT-proBNP on survival was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox-proportional hazard analysis. RESULTS: Seventy-three (47.1%) Dobermans were diagnosed with ODCM, including 31, 17, and 25 that met Holter, echocardiographic, or both criteria, respectively. Sensitivity of NT-proBNP > 457 pmol/L to detect these groups was 45.2, 76.5, and 96.0%, respectively. Combination of NT-proBNP and Holter to detect ODCM yielded sensitivity of 94.5%, specificity of 87.8%, and accuracy of 91.0%. Follow-up data were available for 78 Dobermans. The median survival time of Dobermans with > 50 VPCs (469 days), NT-proBNP > 900 pmol/L (284 days), or ODCM (474 days) was significantly (P < .0001) shorter than those with < 50 VPCs (1743 days), NT-proBNP < 900 pmol/L (1743 days), or without disease (1743 days). NT-proBNP concentration and disease status were independently predictive of all-cause mortality. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: The combination of NT-proBNP assay and Holter detected ODCM with high accuracy. NT-proBNP and disease status were independently associated with survival. NT-proBNP assay identified Dobermans with high probability of increased LVIDs consistent with ODCM, and can facilitate pursuit of confirmatory diagnostic testing, such as echocardiography, in suspected Dobermans.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Intern Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Singletary, G. E., Morris, N. A., Lynne O'Sullivan, M., Gordon, S. G., & Oyama, M. A.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Singletary, GE||Morris, NA||Lynne O'Sullivan, M||Gordon, SG||Oyama, MA

publication date

  • January 2012