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Pleural Effusion and NT-proBNP in cats

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Can you differentiate Pleural Effusion cardiogenic from non-cardiogenic origin in cats?

Posted by Dr. Veronica Damian

The answer is: Yes! 

I was listening to a Podcast from the RVC where Dr. David Connolly (cardiologist) mentioned  a study published by Humm,K et al., in the Journal of  Small Animal Pract.(2013 Dec; 54(12):656-61). In this study they tested blood and effusion from cats with pleural effusion, to measure NT-ProBNP concentrations and compared the groups of cardiogenic vs non cardiogenic origin.

They found that the NT-proBNP concentrations in the plasma and the pleural effusion were higher in the cardiac group. Thus concluding that measuring the NT-proBNP in pleural fluid can help distinguish cardiac from non-cardiac causes of pleural effusion in cats.

In a clinic scenario, if you have a cat that is in respiratory distress a TFAST ultrasound can detect pleural effusion. We would suggest you drain the pleural effusion immediately under an opioid sedation and run a proBNP. Then, when the patient is stable enough, carry out your further imaging including Thoracic radiographs and Echocardiogram.

How cool is that! Until the next tip, Veronica and the Soundiagnosis team

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