Neuroendocrine evaluation of cardiac disease.

TitleNeuroendocrine evaluation of cardiac disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSisson DD
JournalThe Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice
Date Published2004 Sep
KeywordsAnimals, Blood Chemical Analysis, Cat Diseases, Cats, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Heart Failure, Peptide Hormones, Renin-Angiotensin System

Current evidence favors the view that regardless of etiology, there is a predictable sequence of neuroendocrine activation that operates in most dogs and cats with progressive heart disease and that it is largely, but not entirely, independent of etiology. The natriuretic peptides and sympathetic nervous system seem to be early responders to developing cardiac and hemodynamic perturbations in both species. BNP plays a particularly prominent role in cats, possibly as a reflection of disease etiology. Shortly thereafter, plasma endothelin concentrations rise, reflecting the impact of the hemodynamic alterations on the vasculature. Endothelin and the natriuretic peptides directly suppress plasma renin release but have divergent effects on aldosterone. Activation of the tissue RAAS may operate early on to further the progression of heart failure, but evidence of plasma RAAS activation occurs comparatively late and near the time of development of overt CHF. Finally, in animals with severe CHF that are prone to hypotension,vasopressin levels may also rise, contributing to the retention of free water and congestion that is refractory to diuretics. Although oversimplified, this scenario seems to be consistent with data obtained in human, canine, and feline patients. These observations provide some impetus for evaluating ACE inhibitors in cats and beta-receptor-blocking drugs in dogs and cats. Perhaps we are also a little closer to identifying useful biochemical markers that can aid in the diagnosis of heart disease, guide therapy, and improve our understanding of the biologic processes occurring in our patients.

Alternate JournalVet. Clin. North Am. Small Anim. Pract.