Biologic variability in NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin-I in healthy dogs and dogs with mitral valve degeneration.
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BACKGROUND: The N-terminal fragment of the prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and cardiac troponin-I are candidate biomarkers for cardiac disease in dogs. The degree of biologic variation in these biomarkers has not previously been reported in healthy dogs or dogs with mitral regurgitation. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to derive estimates of intrinsic biologic variability and reference change values for NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin-I in healthy dogs and dogs with mitral regurgitation grade IB and II according to the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) grading system. METHODS: Plasma and sera were collected weekly for up to 7 weeks from 12 control dogs and 9 dogs with mitral regurgitation. NT-proBNP and troponin-I (C-TnI) concentrations were determined. Indices of biologic variation such as reciprocal index of individuality (r-IoI) and reference change values (RCV) were calculated in both the groups. RESULTS: Individuality was high in control dogs and dogs with grade IB and II mitral valve regurgitation for both C-TnI (r-IoI 1.6 and 2) and NT-proBNP (1.5 and 2.7), while the 2-sided RCV for NT-proBNP was significantly lower in dogs with mitral regurgitation (52.5% vs 99.4%, P<0.01.). CONCLUSIONS: High individuality of these cardiac biomarkers suggests that, following diagnosis, these assays are best interpreted by serial determination in individual canine patients rather than by comparison to a population-based reference interval. The smaller RCV values for dogs with mitral regurgitation suggest that smaller relative changes in NT-proBNP are clinically meaningful in these patients.