Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is a cardiac biomarker in humans, symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) a renal biomarker in humans, cats, and dogs. The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate if measuring serum ADMA and SDMA concentrations via ELISA allows detection of cardiac disease in horses in a routine laboratory setting. In this context, reference values in horses were established. Animals, materials, and methods
Seventy-eight horses with no known medical history were compared to 23 horses with confirmed structural cardiac disease with/or without arrhythmias. Horses underwent physical examination, electrocardiography, echocardiography and venous blood sampling and were staged based on the severity of cardiac disease from 0 to II. Asymmetric dimethylarginine and SDMA were measured via ELISA and crosschecked using liquid chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. Reference intervals with 90th percent confidence intervals were evaluated and standard software was used to test for significant differences in ADMA, SDMA, and the l-arginine/ADMA ratio between groups. Results
The reference ranges were 1.7–3.8 μmol/L and 0.3–0.8 μmol/L for ADMA and SDMA, respectively. Serum ADMA was higher in horses with heart disease compared to healthy horses (p < 0.01) and highest in horses with stage II heart disease (p = 0.02). The l-Arginine/ADMA ratio was significantly higher in healthy animals than those with cardiac disease (p = 0.001). Conclusions
Reference values for serum ADMA and SDMA using ELISA methods are presented in horses. This study confirms the association between heart disease and increased serum ADMA concentration as well as a decreased l-Arginine/ADMA ratio in horses.