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.

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • November 2012