The aim of this study was to determine if atrial natriuretic peptide can be used as an early screening tool for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Maine coon cats.
Animals: The study was performed in 43 Maine coon cats of both sexes, aged 11 to 92 months. Clinical and echocardiographic examinations were done and proANP serum concentrations were measured every three months over a period of one year (each cat had a total of five examinations). Cats were divided into 3 groups based on echocardiographic results: group 1 – healthy cats, group 2 – cats with unequivocal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy results, group 3 – cats with HCM. The study showed that the concentration of atrial natriuretic peptide correlates with the severity of HCM. A significant increase in serum concentration of this peptide was observed in cats from group 3, but it did not differ significantly between cats from group 2 and the healthy animals (p>0.05). A correlation was also found between proANP and age of the cats (p<0.01, r=0.5578) as well as between the ejection fraction (p=0.0285, r=0.5305) and end-systolic left ventricular diameter (p=0.05, r=0.48) in the affected animals. Atrial natriuretic peptide may be used to help in the diagnosis of advanced stages of HCM in Maine coon cats. Cats with high levels of proANP should be assigned to echocardiographic studies to confirm the disease.