Open Access Open Badges Research article

Evaluation of C-reactive protein, Haptoglobin and cardiac troponin 1 levels in brachycephalic dogs with upper airway obstructive syndrome

Marta Planellas1*, Rafaela Cuenca1, Maria-Dolores Tabar2, Coralie Bertolani3, Cyrill Poncet3, Josep M Closa4, Juan Lorente5, Jose J Cerón6 and Josep Pastor1

Author affiliations

1 Animal Medicine and Surgery Department. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, 08193, Spain

2 Centro Policlínico Veterinario Raspeig, Camino Rodalet nº 17, Sant Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, 03690, Spain

3 Centre Hospitalier Vétérinaire Frégis, Av. Aristide Briand nº 43, Arcueil, 94110, France

4 Hospital ARS Veterinària, Cardedeu str. nº 3, Barcelona, 08023, Spain

5 Otorrinolaringology service in the Hospital General Universitari de la Vall d’Hebron, Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron nº 119-129, Barcelona, 08035, Spain

6 Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Regional Campus of International Excellence "Campus Mare Nostrum" Murcia University, Espinardo, Murcia, 30100, Spain

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Citation and License

BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:152  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-152

Published: 31 August 2012



Brachycephalic dogs have unique upper respiratory anatomy with abnormal breathing patterns similar to those in humans with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The objective of this study was to evaluate the correlation between anatomical components, clinical signs and several biomarkers, used to determine systemic inflammation and myocardial damage (C-reactive protein, CRP; Haptoglobin, Hp; cardiac troponin I, cTnI), in dogs with brachycephalic upper airway obstructive syndrome (BAOS).


Fifty brachycephalic dogs were included in the study and the following information was studied: signalment, clinical signs, thoracic radiographs, blood work, ECG, components of BAOS, and CRP, Hp and cTnI levels. A high proportion of dogs with BAOS (88%) had gastrointestinal signs. The prevalence of anatomic components of BAOS was: elongated soft palate (100%), stenotic nares (96%), everted laryngeal saccules (32%) and tracheal hypoplasia (29.1%). Increased serum levels of biomarkers were found in a variable proportion of dogs: 14% (7/50) had values of CRP > 20 mg/L, 22.9% (11/48) had values of Hp > 3 g/L and 47.8% (22/46) had levels of cTnI > 0.05 ng/dl. Dogs with everted laryngeal saccules had more severe respiratory signs (p<0.02) and higher values of CRP (p<0.044). No other statistical association between biomarkers levels and severity of clinical signs was found.


According to the low percentage of patients with elevated levels of CRP and Hp, BAOS does not seem to cause an evident systemic inflammatory status. Some degree of myocardial damage may occur in dogs with BAOS that can be detected by cTnI concentration.

Acute phase proteins; Apnea; Brachycephalic; Hypoxia; Myocardial damage; Upper airway