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Using natriuretic peptides to detect cardiac diseases in horses
  1. Aurélia A. Leroux, DVM, MSc, PhD
  1. Equine Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium, e-mail:

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WHEN considering the use of cardiac biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of cardiac diseases, is equine cardiology catching up with small animal and human cardiology?

The paper by Van der Vekens and others (2015), summarised on page 624 of this issue of Veterinary Record, presents an initial step towards achieving this goal by testing a new technique to measure plasma proANP concentrations in horses with and without cardiac disease.

Echocardiography is the technique currently used to diagnose and monitor cardiac diseases in horses. However, with further studies, total proANP determined using a the new methodology could become a practical clinical tool

Photograph: University of Liege

Natriuretic peptides, including atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), are hormones synthesised by cardiomyocytes. They play an important role in blood pressure regulation, diuresis and natriuresis. They are also known to increase in response to a cardiomyocytes stretch due to pressure or volume overload, for example, during prolonged strenuous …

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