The information needed to diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in dogs based on N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) levels is unclear. In this study, serial changes in plasma NT-proBNP and ANP concentrations were evaluated in association with the development of chronic embolic pulmonary hypertension (CEPH). Six Beagle dogs underwent percutaneous pulmonary artery catheterization. CEPH was induced by the repeated injection of 300 μm microspheres into the pulmonary artery via the catheter. Measured peak systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (PAPs) was elevated up to 80 mm Hg at 90 days by repeated injection of microspheres. Echocardiographic examination showed significant increase in the main pulmonary artery enlargement, right ventricular dilation, transtricuspid late diastolic flow, and ventricular late diastolic myocardial velocity. Plasma concentrations of NT-proBNP and ANP were significantly increased by microsphere-induced severe CEPH, but not by mild CEPH. Measured PAPs correlated weakly with plasma NT-proBNP and ANP concentrations (r=0.63 and 0.69, respectively) and with several echocardiographic variables. Our results indicated that plasma ANP and NT-proBNP responded to severe PAH, but that they were not sensitive for mild PAH.
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