Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Evaluation of new and old biomarkers in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease


Dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease are commonly presented to small animal clinicians. Diagnosis, clinical staging, and therapeutic design are based on a combination of clinical examination, radiography, and echocardiography. To support diagnosis and clinical monitoring, a multi-marker-based approach would be conceivable. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of Galectin-3 and interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 protein (ST2) in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease in accordance with N-terminal-prohormone-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and cardiac troponin I (cTnI). For this purpose, serum concentrations of Galectin-3 and ST2 of 64 dogs with different stages of mitral valve disease and 21 dogs without cardiac disease were analyzed at the first examination and six months later. Echocardiography, blood cell count and clinical chemistry were performed and established biomarkers NT-proBNP and cTnI were measured additionally. Differences in the biomarker concentrations between all groups at both timepoints and the change in biomarker concentrations from first to second evaluation was investigated. Furthermore, correlations of each biomarker, between biomarkers and echocardiographic measurements, were calculated. Finally, the receiver-operating characteristic curve and the area under the curve analysis were performed to differentiate between disease stages and controls.


Serum concentrations of Galectin-3 and ST2 were not statistically different between canine patients in the respective stages of mitral valve disease or in comparison to dogs in the control group at any timepoint. A significant increase in ST2 concentrations from the baseline to the follow-up examination was observed in dogs classified as stage B1 and the control group. The concentrations of NT-proBNP and cTnI in stage C dogs were significantly increased in comparison to the other groups.


In this study, no relation between Galectin-3 and ST2 levels to the presence or stage of mitral valve disease could be detected. Nevertheless, considering the increase in ST2 concentrations from the first to second measurement, its value on monitoring disease progress could be feasible. In agreement with previous studies, NT-proBNP and cTnI have once more proven their utility in assessing disease severity. The approach of examining new cardiac biomarkers in dogs is still worth pursuing.


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