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

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


Click here to read the journal article on this study!

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