Some people have asked about the difference between the two biomarker tests and why it's important that we do both of them.


When we talk about DCM some of us will think about the horror scenario of dogs dropping dead in a field on a walk - this can be due to arrhythmias.
Others will think of a dog who deteriorates gradually, can't tolerate exercise as well as it once did and eventually develops a dry cough (that sounds like Kennel Cough) when it's in congestive heart failure.
A dog can have either of these types of heart problem, OR BOTH!
NT-proBNP: this test measures heart muscle wall stress, so it is likely to be high in Dobermanns with abnormal echos and early DCM. Levels are very high in Dobermanns with heart failure and symptomatic DCM.
High sensitivity Troponin I : this test measures heart muscle cell damage, which occurs in Dobermanns with cardiac arrhythmias as well as echo evidence of DCM.
I hope this explanation might help you see why it's important that we look at BOTH tests together because just looking at one measurement could mean we're missing something important.
Remember: The aim of the current project is to prove that both of these tests used together are a reliable alternative to an expensive yearly echo and holter test.