Elevations in the plasma concentrations of natriuretic peptides correlate with increased severity of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in dogs. This study correlates the severity of MMVD with the plasma concentrations of the biomarkers N-terminal fragment of the pro-brain-natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and its second messenger, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Furthermore, the l-arginine:asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) ratio was measured as an index of nitric oxide availability. The study included 75 dogs sub-divided into five groups based on severity of MMVD as assessed by clinical examination and echocardiography. Plasma NT-proBNP and cGMP concentrations increased with increasing valve dysfunction and were significantly elevated in dogs with heart failure. The cGMP:NT-proBNP ratio decreased significantly in dogs with heart failure, suggesting the development of natriuretic peptide resistance. Although the l-arginine:ADMA ratio decreased with increasingly severe MMVD, this was largely due to the older age of the dogs with heart failure.
Veterinary Journal, 2011, Vol 189, Issue 3, p. 349-352