Effect of Pimobendan on NT-proBNP and c troponin I before and after a submaximal exercise test in dogs with preclinical mitral valve disease without cardiomegaly - a randomised, double-blinded trial
BACKGROUND:Exercise testing in conjunction with measurement of cardiac biomarkers NT-proBNP and cTnI is a useful tool for monitoring the effect of treatment on cardiac patients. Administering Pimobendan in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) and cardiomegaly results in delaying the onset of clinical symptoms and prolonging life. Its effect in dogs with DMVD without cardiomegaly has not been well examined. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of administering Pimobendan in dogs with DMVD without cardiomegaly using exercise testing in conjunction with measuring cardiac biomarkers in addition to echocardiography. Twenty-one dogs with asymptomatic DMVD without echocardiographic signs of cardiomegaly participated in a randomised, double-blinded trial. Dogs were divided into a Pimobendan-group (n = 11) and a placebo-group (n = 10) in a double-blinded study design and underwent a standardised submaximal exercise test (SSET). One dog in the Pimobendan-group was retrospectively removed from the study after being diagnosed with Leishmaniosis. Cardiac biomarkers NT-proBNP and cTnI were measured before and after exercise. Follow-up appointments were performed at days 90 and 180. RESULTS:Dogs in the Pimobendan-group had significantly lower post-exercise NT-proBNP-levels after being administered Pimobendan than at the beginning of the study. They also had lower pre- and post-exercise-NT-proBNP-levels than those dogs in the placebo-group. There was neither a significant difference regarding the measured cTnI levels nor an increase in cTnI between the groups at any time. CONCLUSIONS:Pimobendan lowers NT-proBNP in dogs with presymptomatic mitral valve disease without cardiomegaly before and after submaximal exercise. This indicates a reduction in cardiac wall stress. If dogs with asymptomatic DMVD without cardiomegaly benefit from treatment with Pimobendan (for example, through a longer survival time) warrants further investigation.