NT-proBNP Testing: An important tool for veterinary practitioners
NT-proBNP levels are measured in serum and testing can be performed by outside laboratories or with in-clinic assays. An assay recently brought to the market by the Bionote veterinary team is the first of it’s kind for veterinarians providing in-clinic, quantitative NT-proBNP level measurement in minutes. Adding quantitative NT-proBNP test results to exam findings can help identify dogs with advanced cardiac disease that would benefit from further diagnostics and can help monitor dogs with known heart disease. Bionote’s canine NT-proBNP test is available under it’s VCheck branded line of tests and analysers. It is the first and only in-clinic, quantitative NT-proBNP for the detection of heart disease. It should be noted that other BNP testing in the marketplace must be sent to reference labs for confirmation, taking more time and incurring a higher risk of sample degradation affecting accuracy. Although no one specific finding or test result is adequate or appropriate for diagnosing heart disease, when many pieces of information are combined, a stronger cardiac clinical picture develops.
Utilizing NT-proBNP testing in your clinical practice
Dogs presenting with respiratory signs can be diagnostically challenging. NT-proBNP measurement can further assist with diagnosis. A normal or low NT-proBNP concentration is typically associated with respiratory disease and elevated NT-proBNP levels (>2,500pmol/L) are associated with cardiac disease. Additionally, results of NT-proBNP testing (>1500pmol/L) in a dog with historical MMVD2,3 along with thoracic radiographic changes can detect progressive cardiac disease and predict increased risk for CHF development in the following 3 to 6 months. NT-proBNP assessment can be combined with other tests for screening purposes. A recent study found that utilizing NT-proBNP results with other common clinical values could be used in a predictive model to identify dogs with a higher probability of having stage B2 MMVD. NT-proBNP testing can be used during wellness visits for dog breeds predisposed to heart conditions. Elevations are not disease-specific and can’t solely be used to establish a diagnosis or make pharmacologic decisions. False positives can be observed in certain breeds (Labrador retrievers and greyhounds) and patients with kidney disease. The newest NT-proBNP testing option from Bionote provides an accurate and extremely cost-effective way to assist with cardiac disease diagnosis while patients are still in the clinic. This enables veterinarians to better determine and promptly communicate follow-up recommendations for treatment, with owners. Identifying and encouraging at-risk patients to seek further evaluation results in a greater proportion of patients receiving appropriate care and is a win for the entire veterinary team.