Risk indicators in cats with preclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a prospective cohort study by Vicky Ironside and colleagues at Hallam Veterinary Centre

Increased left atrial sizes and higher baseline NTproBNP concentrations were found to help identify cats with preclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which go on to develop cardiac-related events.

This prospective study followed 47 cats diagnosed with preclinical HCM for a median period of 1135 days. At baseline and during repeat visits, they underwent physical examination, blood pressure measurements, blood sampling, and echocardiography. Fifteen cats (31.9%) experienced at least one cardiac-related event during this time: six with congestive heart failure, five with arterial thromboembolisms, and five with sudden death.

Cats with an increased left atrial size at baseline and those with a greater rate of left atrial enlargement between examinations were more likely to experience a cardiac event. Additionally, cats with a baseline NTproBNP concentration ≥ 700 pmol/L were approximately four times more likely to experience a cardiac event. These markers appeared to be complementary in their ability to identify cats at higher risk. Cats with values of both indicators above the cut-off were the most likely to experience an event and did so more quickly.

These factors, which are both easily measured by non-specialists in standard veterinary practices, can be used to identify cats with preclinical HCM at risk of disease progression.

Access the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery paper here