Echocardiographic, morphometric and biomarker changes in female cats followed from 6 to 24 months of life

J Feline Med Surg. 2021 Apr;23(4):278-286. doi: 10.1177/1098612X20943684. Epub 2020 Jul 28.


Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate cardiac size and early growth through echocardiographic, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), morphometric and biomarker changes in cats followed from 6 to 24 months of age.

Methods: Twenty-four female European shorthair colony cats were evaluated at birth for BW and at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age for BW, BCS, head length (HL) and head width (HW), N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and echocardiographic measurements.

Results: BCS, HW, left ventricular free wall in diastole, left atrium diameter and aortic diameter increased significantly between 6 and 12 months, while BW, HL and interventricular septum in diastole increased significantly between 6, 12 and 18 months, and BW decreased significantly between 18 and 24 months. NT-proBNP decreased significantly between 6 and 12 months. IGF-1 increased significantly between 6 and 12 months but decreased significantly between 12 and 18 months.

Conclusions and relevance: This study prospectively evaluated changes in echocardiographic measurements, BW, BCS, HL, HW, IGF-1 and NT-proBNP in cats during the first 2 years of life. Results show a comparable change over time for different variables. These findings contribute to the understanding of a possible relationship between cardiac measures and body size from young age through to adulthood.

Keywords: Growth; echocardiography; heart; insulin-like growth factor-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cats
  • Echocardiography* / veterinary
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles* / diagnostic imaging
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I