The use of cardiac biomarkers in veterinary medicine: the equine perspective

  • N. Van Der Vekens
  • A. Decloedt
  • D. De Clercq
  • T. Veheyen
  • G. van Loon


In human medicine, cardiac biomarkers, such as natriuretic peptides and troponins, are routinely used for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of heart diseases. Similarly, these biomarkers are determined in small animals to differentiate non-cardiac from cardiac diseases. Knowledge about these biomarkers in horses is limited and requires further investigation. The first equine studies about atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and N-terminal ANP (NT-proANP) are promising, and show a clear correlation with atrial dimension size. Equine brain natriuretic peptides assays are still unavailable. The troponins, in particular troponin I, have been more extensively studied in horses, and their use for the diagnosis of myocardial damage has been fully demonstrated. They have replaced the less specific lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase isoenzymes, which makes the use of the last mentioned no longer legitimate. A final possible equine biomarker is aldosterone. Reference values in horses have been established. However, in only one study, a correlation between aldosterone and cardiac disease has been reported.

How to Cite:

Van Der Vekens, N., Decloedt, A., De Clercq, D., Veheyen, T. & van Loon, G., (2012) “The use of cardiac biomarkers in veterinary medicine: the equine perspective”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 81(6), 319-327. doi:

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Published on
27 Dec 2012
Peer Reviewed