Cardiac Biomarkers in Hyperthyroid Cats

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Virginia Tech

Background: Hyperthyroidism has substantial effects on the circulatory system. The cardiac biomarkers NT-proBNP and troponin I (cTNI) have proven useful in identifying cats with myocardial disease but have not been as extensively investigated in hyperthyroidism.

Hypothesis: Plasma NT-proBNP and cTNI concentrations are higher in cats with primary cardiac disease than in cats with hyperthyroidism and higher in cats with hyperthyroidism than in healthy control cats.

Animals: Twenty-three hyperthyroid cats, 19 cats with HCM without congestive heart failure, and 19 euthyroid, normotensive healthy cats eight years of age or older. Fourteen of the hyperthyroid cats were re-evaluated three months after administration of 131I.

Methods: A complete history, physical examination, complete blood count, serum biochemistries, urinalysis, blood pressure measurement, serum T4 concentration, plasma concentrations of NT-proBNP and cTNI, and echocardiogram was prospectively obtained from each cat.

Results: Hyperthyroid and HCM cats had plasma NT-proBNP and cTNI concentrations that were significantly greater than healthy older cats, but there was no significant difference between hyperthyroid and HCM cats with respect to concentration of either biomarker. In hyperthyroid cats that were re-evaluated three months after 131I treatment, plasma NT-proBNP and cTNI concentrations as well as ventricular wall thickness decreased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Although there may be a role for NT-proBNP in monitoring the cardiac response to treatment of hyperthyroidism, neither NT-proBNP nor cTNI can be used to distinguish hyperthyroid cats from cats with HCM. Therefore, the thyroid status of older cats should be ascertained prior to interpreting results of cardiac biomarker testing.

NT-proBNP, cardiac troponin I