Canine NT-proBNP TechNotes

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NT-proBNP measurement has been introduced into vet¬erinary practice during the last decade. NT-proBNP lev¬els are elevated in dogs with mitral valve disease and di¬lated cardiomyopathy. High¬est concentrations are ob¬served in dogs developing congestive heart failure. NT-proBNP measurement helps to discriminate congestive heart failure from primary respiratory tract disease as an underlying cause of respiratory signs in dogs (Boswood et al, 2008). NT-proBNP concentration in blood corre-lates with the severity of disease and reflects the risk of following complications. Growing number of studies shows that NT-proBNP is successfully used for diagnosing cardiac disease in dogs, assess-ing the severity of disease in dogs with cardiac disease and prognosis in dogs with heart disease (re-viewed in Oyama and Singletary, 2010).

One of the main challenges with canine NT-proBNP is that it is not very stable at room temperature. Degradation of NT-proBNP makes the use of cur¬rent immunoassay kits complicated; sample pro-cessing protocols are inflexible and may require ad¬ditional work by the practitioner in order to minimize degradation of NT-proBNP before the samples can be assayed (Collins, 2013).

One way to improve the immunoassays and their clinical utility would be to select antibodies that are less sensitive to analyte degradation (also sugggested by Collins et al., 2010). We have previously shown which epitopes in human NT-proBNP are the most stable (Katrukha et al., 2005). However, the amino acid sequences of human and canine NT-proBNP differ significantly, so the epitope sta¬bilities may be at least partially different for human and dog NT-proBNP.

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