Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology

Publisher: Elsevier

Current impact factor: 1.32

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2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 1.318

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ISSN 1875-0834

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Elsevier

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine if there are differences in cellular changes in Cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS) myxomatous mitral valves compared to non-CKCS dogs. Animals: Cavalier King Charles spaniels (n = 6) and age-matched mixed breed (n = 6) with severe myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), and normal mixed breed (n = 4) dogs. Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry staining and qualitative and quantitative analysis of mitral valves sections, examining for the presence of CD11c and CD45, vimentin, alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and embryonic smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (Smemb), von Willebrand factor and CD31 and Ki-67. Results: Vimentin positive cell numbers were increased in the MMVD dogs and distributed throughout the valve with greatest density close to the endothelium. There were no significant differences in cell marker expression for the two diseased groups, but cell numbers were significantly increased compared to controls for α-SMA (CKCS only) and Smemb (CKCS and mixed breed: p < 0.05). Alpha smooth muscle actin+ cells were primarily located at the valve edge, with Smemb+ cells similarly located, but also present throughout the valve stroma. A small number of cells close to the valve edge co-expressed α-SMA and Smemb. Endothelial von Willebrand factor expression was identified in all valves, with evidence of disrupted endothelium in the diseased, but was also found in diseased valve stroma. There was no staining for CD11c, CD45 or CD31 in any valve. Ki-67+ cells formed linear clusters at the leaflet tip and were sparsely distributed throughout both myxomatous valve groups. Conclusions: The cellular changes notes with advanced stage MMVD appear similar for CKCS when compared to mixed breed dogs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In both humans and dogs the pulmonary vasculature is able to recruit large-diameter anatomical intrapulmonary arteriovenous anastomoses (IPAVAs). In healthy people the opening of these anastomoses affects the degree of exercise-induced increase in pulmonary arterial pressure. The presence of these IPAVAs can be demonstrated using saline contrast echocardiography. Objectives: The aims of the present study were to characterize severely affected, naturally infected dogs with Angiostrongylus vasorum, to evaluate if these dogs can open IPAVAs, and to assess if the recruitment of such anastomoses affects the severity of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Animals: Eight client-owned dogs with severe A. vasorum infection were recruited. Methods: Dogs with A. vasorum infection that presented with severe dyspnea and/or syncope were prospectively screened by echocardiography for the presence of PH and IPAVAs. Only severely affected dogs, based on a combination of clinical, radiographic and echocardiographic abnormalities, were enrolled. Results: Opening of IPAVAs could be demonstrated in three dogs with no to moderate PH, and could not be demonstrated in five dogs with severe PH. In two dogs thoracic radiographs showed only mild interstitial changes, while computer tomography and postmortem examination revealed severe pulmonary interstitial and vascular disease. Conclusions: These results suggest that dogs may open IPAVAs and that opening of such anastomoses may play a regulatory role in the development of PH. There may be a marked discrepancy between radiographic changes and disease severity in A.vasorum.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate the number and frequency of adverse effects in a population of clinical canine patients receiving Nexterone. Animals: Seventeen canine patients receiving Nexterone (five of which were treated during cardiopulmonary arrest). Methods: An electronic records search for canine patients receiving intravenous Nexterone at the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital was performed and retrospectively evaluated for patient demographic information, pre- and post-treatment values for heart rate, blood pressure and rhythm diagnosis, as well as any documented adverse effects (hypotension, anaphylaxis, vomiting, phlebitis, and death). Data including the underlying cardiac or systemic disease, concurrent medications, as well as the final clinical diagnosis and treatment outcome were also recorded. Results: No adverse effects were noted in this population of clinical canine patients receiving Nexterone. The median pre-treatment heart rate and blood pressure values were 160 bpm (range 120-300 bpm) and 105 mmHg (range 60-170 mmHg), respectively. After treatment, the median heart rate was significantly lower (120 bpm; range 68-172 bpm). The median blood pressure similar to the pre-treatment blood pressure (115 mmHg; range 100-150 mmHg). Conclusion: In this study of 17 dogs receiving the premixed formulation of injectable Nexterone, no dogs were found to have acute adverse side effects. Nexterone appears to be a safe drug choice for in-hospital treatment of canine arrhythmias. Further studies are needed to assess the efficacy and long-term effects of this medication and the ideal dosing protocol for various arrhythmias.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: To investigate the prevalence and amplitudes of the electrocardiographic J wave in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen compared to 10 other dog breeds. Animals: Electrocardiograms from 206 healthy dogs representing 11 dog breeds were included in the study. Besides Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV; n = 23) 10 other dog breeds were included. Materials and methods: An electrocardiogram ruler was used for measuring the amplitudes of the J waves. The definition of a J wave was a positive deflection at the J point of ≥0.1 mV in more than 1 lead of the bipolar standard limb leads (I, II, III) or the unipolar standard limb leads (aVL and aVF). Results: The prevalence of J waves in the PBGV (n = 23) was 91% (n = 21, standard error (SE) = 5.9%), which was significantly higher compared to seven other dog breeds (p < 0.05). The overall prevalence of J waves in all 11 dog breeds (n = 206) was 43% (n = 89, robust SE = 7.8%). There was no significant difference in the prevalence between male and female dogs (p = 0.79). Neither did age (p = 0.22) nor heart rate (p = 0.25) significantly affect the prevalence of J wave. Conclusions: The PBGV had the highest prevalence of J waves and the highest amplitudes compared to 10 other dog breeds. However J waves were also seen in other breeds. Therefore, J waves may be considered a normal variant on the canine electrocardiogram and should not be interpreted as cardiac disease.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The prevalence of congenital heart disease is higher in camelids than in other domestic species and complex defects, often involving the great vessels, are more frequently encountered in llamas and alpacas than in other species. Some of these complex defects can be difficult to accurately characterize via echocardiography, the most commonly used diagnostic imaging technique to evaluate the heart in veterinary patients. Contrast-enhanced, electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated computed tomography (CT) has proven utility for the evaluation of human patients with certain congenital heart defects, including those with conotruncal septation defects and other abnormalities involving the formation of the great vessels. Methods: Three alpaca crias, 4 days, 5 weeks and 14 months of age were clinically evaluated and subjected to a complete color-flow Doppler echocardiogram and a contrast-enhanced ECG-gated CT. Results: These alpacas exhibited a variety of clinical findings including lethargy, failure to thrive, exercise intolerance, heart murmur, and/or respiratory difficulty. All three crias were subsequently diagnosed with complex cardiac defects including pulmonary atresia with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a truncus arteriosus with a large VSD, and a double outlet right ventricle with a large VSD and aortic hypoplasia. In each case, the diagnosis was confirmed by postmortem examination. Conclusion: Color flow echocardiographic evaluation identified all of the intra-cardiac lesions and associated flow anomalies but contrast-enhanced ECG-gated CT permitted more accurate assessment of the morphology of the extracardiac structures and permitted a more precise determination of the exact nature and anatomy of the great vessels.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Diastolic aortic valve measurements are used to obtain weight-independent cardiac ratiometric indices. However, whether clinically important variations in valve measurements occur during diastole remains undetermined. Animals: One hundred sixty-three dogs and 40 cats; a mixture of healthy animals and patients with heart disease. Materials and methods: Aortic valve diameter and area were measured at three time-points: early diastole {AoMAX}, during the P-wave {AoP} and at end-diastole {AoMIN}. Measurement beat-to-beat variability was determined. Difference plots were generated for each measurement pair. Aortic measurements were compared by repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: In dogs, normalised aortic diameters showed a fixed bias of approximately 14% for AoMAX-AoMIN, 6% for AoMAX-AoP and 8% for AoP-AoMIN. In cats, the aortic diameter and area biases were all less than 2.5% and less than 7% respectively. AoMAX was the largest measurement in 78% patients and AoMIN was the smallest measurement in 73% patients. In dogs, AoMAX > AoP > AoMIN (p < 0.0001). Median within-patient measurement variability was 5% for linear dimensions and 8% for area measurements in dogs and 4.5% for linear and 10.4% for area in cats. Discussion: Aortic measurements in dogs differ significantly throughout diastole, with Ao(A)MAX > Ao(A)P > Ao(A)MIN. These differences could clinically impact cardiac ratiometric indices. The difference in cats is less than the within-patient measurement variability and unlikely to be of clinical significance. Conclusions: Operators should adopt a single diastolic time-point for measurement of the aorta to ensure consistency in measuring and reporting in echocardiography.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To objectively and subjectively describe the normal spectrum of two-dimensional echocardiographic findings in the central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Animals: Sixteen central bearded dragons. Methods: Central bearded dragons were prospectively evaluated under manual restraint in right and left lateral recumbency to identify imaging planes for reproducible measurements of cardiac chambers, subjective two-dimensional analysis and color Doppler assessment. Results: Echocardiography can be performed through windows in the left and right axillae. The window in the left axilla allows for a subjective and objective assessment of cardiac structure and function. The right axillary window allows for evaluation of pulmonary artery flow. Both views provide data for the presence of pericardial effusion or valvular insufficiency. With optimized imaging planes, cardiac chambers and fractional area change along with fractional shortening in the longitudinal and transverse planes can be calculated. Body weight and cardiac chamber dimensions of males were significantly larger than females. Ventricular fractional area change was the most consistent functional assessment. The majority of animals were found to have no evidence of valvular insufficiency, while approximately half had evidence of pericardial fluid. Pulmonary artery flow was assessed in all patients. Left and right aortic velocities cannot be reliably obtained. Conclusions: This study is the first to generate reference values for cardiac structure and function in clinically healthy central bearded dragons. Valvular insufficiency is not a normal finding in central bearded dragons, while mild pericardial effusion may be.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To document the electrocardiographic findings of vagally-induced paroxysmal atrial fibrillation following a presumed reflex syncopal episode in the dog. Animals: Seven dogs with a syncopal episode followed by a paroxysm of atrial fibrillation recorded on a 24-hour Holter. Methods: Twenty-four hour Holter monitors were retrospectively reviewed, analysing the cardiac rhythm associated with syncopal events. Each recording was analysed from 10 min before the syncopal episode to until 10 min after a normal sinus rhythm had returned. Results: Nine episodes were recorded in seven dogs, with one patient experiencing three events during one Holter recording. Five of the seven dogs presented with underlying structural heart disease. In two the syncopal episodes occurred following exercise, two associated with coughing and three were during a period of rest. All dogs had documented on the Holter recording a rhythm abnormality during syncope. The most common finding leading up to the syncopal event was development of a progressive sinus bradycardia, followed by sinus arrest interrupted by a ventricular escape rhythm and then ventricular arrest. This was then followed by an atrial fibrillation. The atrial fibrillation was paroxysmal in seven recordings and persistent in two. In two dogs, the atrial fibrillation reorganised into self-limiting runs of atypical atrial flutter. Conclusions: This combination of electrocardiographic arrhythmias are probably caused by an inappropriate parasympathetic stimulation initiating a reflex or neurally-mediated syncope, with abnormal automaticity of the sinus node and of the subsidiary pacemaker cells and changes in the electrophysiological properties of the atrial muscle, which promoted the paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study aimed to determine the association of cardiac fibrosis with the galectin-3 (Gal-3) expression, a fibrosis marker in the myocardium and to compare plasma Gal-3 levels in normal and degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) dogs. Animals: Studies of muscle expression and plasma levels of Gal-3 were performed in separate groups of dogs. The tissue study was performed on cardiac tissues collected from 22 dogs. The plasma study was performed on 46 client-owned dogs. Methods: Papillary muscle and left ventricular (LV) wall obtained from 10 normal and 12 DMVD dogs were stained with Masson trichrome and Gal-3 immunohistochemistry to determine fibrosis areas and Gal-3 expression. Plasma samples were collected from 19 normal and 27 DMVD dogs for Gal-3 measurement by ELISA. Results: Percentage of fibrosis was higher in papillary muscle and LV wall of DMVD dogs (66.13 ± 5.58%; 52.98 ± 8.45%) than in normal dogs (35.40 ± 8.46%; 27.41 ± 7.91%; p < 0.0001). Gal-3 was higher in papillary muscle and LV wall of DMVD dogs (27.95 ± 6.94%; 17.25 ± 8.76%) than in normal dogs (1.08 ± 0.67%; 0.52 ± 0.42%; p < 0.0001). Fibrosis areas correlated strongly with the Gal-3 expression (r = 0.821, p < 0.0001). Plasma Gal-3 levels were increased in DMVD dogs (1.50; 0.87-2.36 ng/mL) compared to normal dogs (0.42; 0.27-0.63 ng/mL; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Gal-3 expression in cardiac muscle was associated with cardiac fibrosis and was higher in DMVD dogs than in normal dogs. DMVD dogs had higher plasma Gal-3 concentrations than normal dogs. Tissue Gal-3 is a candidate of fibrosis biomarker in DMVD; however, further investigation of associations between plasma Gal-3 and myocardial fibrosis is necessary.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in genes that encode for muscle sarcomeric proteins have been identified in humans and two breeds of domestic cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This article reviews the history, genetics, and pathogenesis of HCM in the two species in order to give veterinarians a perspective on the genetics of HCM. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in people is a genetic disease that has been called a disease of the sarcomere because the preponderance of mutations identified that cause HCM are in genes that encode for sarcomeric proteins (Maron and Maron, 2013). Sarcomeres are the basic contractile units of muscle and thus sarcomeric proteins are responsible for the strength, speed, and extent of muscle contraction. In people with HCM, the two most common genes affected by HCM mutations are the myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7), the gene that encodes for the motor protein β-myosin heavy chain (the sarcomeric protein that splits ATP to generate force), and the cardiac myosin binding protein-C gene (MYBPC3), a gene that encodes for the closely related structural and regulatory protein, cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C). To date, the two mutations linked to HCM in domestic cats (one each in Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds) also occur in MYBPC3 (Meurs et al., 2005, 2007). This is a review of the genetics of HCM in both humans and domestic cats that focuses on the aspects of human genetics that are germane to veterinarians and on all aspects of feline HCM genetics.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiogenic embolism (CE) in the cat, which has also been referred to as arterial thromboembolism, feline arterial thromboembolism, and saddle thrombus has been identified clinically in cats for decades and is an important clinical development and cause of death in cats with underlying heart disease. While a better understanding of this condition has been developed over the decades it is extremely frustrating to clinicians that there have not been dramatic changes in prevention or outcome. Only recently has the first prospective thromboprophylactic study on CE in cats been completed. While new antithrombotic drugs are developed for humans on a regular basis, it has been challenging to get pharmaceutical companies to focus on the feline species. Additionally, there remains an absence of clinical data to identify cats at risk for developing CE aside from the simple fact that they have underlying heart disease. This review will attempt to present a summary of where we stand in 2015 with regards to clinical presentation, survival, thrombotic risk, and prevention.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cardiac masses are uncommon in the canine population. When present, an attempt should be made to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Our goal with this case series was to report that as long as anatomic location permits, obtaining fine needle aspirates (FNAs) for cytological evaluation is practical, safe, and may provide a definitive diagnosis. Methods: Our database has been retrospectively searched for cases where FNA of cardiac masses have been performed. Results: A total of six cases were retrieved. Four dogs were under general anaesthesia and two were sedated. Ultrasound guided transthoracic FNAs were obtained in all cases with only minor complications: mild self-limiting pericardial effusion (n = 1) and one ventricular ectopic complex (n = 1). All dogs were closely monitored during the procedure (pulse oximetry, electrocardiography and blood pressure). A diagnosis was obtained in all cases: inflammation (n = 1), haemangiosarcoma (n = 2), sarcoma (n = 2) and chemodectoma (n = 1). Conclusion: A cytological diagnosis allows clinicians to make appropriate clinical decisions, has dramatic impact on treatment recommendations and gives information about prognosis.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: A left-to-right shunting patent ductus arteriosus was diagnosed in a 13-week-old, 2.5 kg, male, domestic Shorthair cat with a continuous murmur. Echocardiographic abnormalities were identified, including: cardiomegaly, wide and presumably short ductal ampulla, and a large right branch pulmonary artery. When these findings were combined with the small patient size, additional imaging was considered prior to surgical ligation, and computed tomography angiography was preferred over standard angiography to provide multi-dimensional appreciation of the anatomy prior to surgery. The dataset from a computed tomography angiographic study performed prior to surgical ligation was used to create a three-dimensional model of the heart and great vessels. The rendered images accurately depicted the cardiac anatomy in situ, which can be utilized for surgical procedural planning and to enhance visuospatial understanding of the anatomy at all levels of training.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) appears to be common in cats and, based on pilot data, a prevalence of 15% has been hypothesized. The objectives were to screen a large population of apparently healthy adult cats for cardiac disease, and identify factors associated with a diagnosis of HCM. Animals: A total of 1007 apparently healthy cats ≥6 months of age. Methods: In this prospective, cross-sectional study, the inclusion criteria were: apparently healthy cats, aged ≥6 months, available for rehoming over a 17-month period from two rehoming centres. Hypertensive or hyperthyroid cats were excluded. Body weight, body condition score, auscultation, systolic blood pressure and two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiography were evaluated. Cats with left ventricular end-diastolic wall thickness ≥6 mm on 2-D echocardiography were considered to have HCM. Results: Complete data were obtained in 780 cats. Heart murmur prevalence was 40.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 37.3-44.3%), 70.4% of which were considered functional. The prevalence of HCM was 14.7% (95% CI 12.3-17.4%), congenital disease 0.5% (95% CI 0.1-1.3%), and other cardiomyopathies 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.7%). The HCM prevalence increased with age. The positive predictive value of a heart murmur for indicating HCM was 17.9-42.6% (higher in old cats), and the negative predictive value was 90.2-100% (higher in young cats). The factors associated with a diagnosis of HCM in binary logistic regression models were male sex, increased age, increased body condition score and a heart murmur (particularly grade III/VI or louder). Conclusions: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is common in apparently healthy cats, in contrast with other cardiomyopathies. Heart murmurs are also common, and are often functional.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction is highly prevalent in cats and is a functional hallmark of feline cardiomyopathy. The majority of cats with hypertrophic, restrictive, and dilated cardiomyopathy have echocardiographic evidence of abnormal LV filling, even during the occult (preclinical) phase. Moderate and severe diastolic dysfunction is an indicator of advanced myocardial disease, is associated with clinical signs including exercise intolerance and congestive heart failure, affects outcome, and influences therapeutic decisions. Therefore, identification and quantification of LV diastolic dysfunction are clinically important. Surrogate measures of diastolic function determined by transthoracic two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiographic (DE) methods have been used widely for such purpose. Major functional characteristics of LV diastole, including global function, relaxation and untwist, chamber compliance, filling volume, and the resultant filling pressures can be semi-quantified by echocardiographic methods, and variables retrieved from transmitral flow, pulmonary vein flow, and tissue Doppler recordings are most frequently used. Although there is still a critical lack of well-designed studies in the field, knowledge has steadily accumulated over the past 20 years, reference ranges of diastolic echocardiographic variables have been determined, epidemiological studies have been conducted, and new treatments of diastolic dysfunction in cats have been evaluated. This report will give the reader a summary of the current status in the field of feline diastology with focus on the noninvasive diagnostic methods and interpretation of echocardiographic surrogate measures of LV diastolic function. Lastly, a grading system using a composite of left atrial size and various DE variables potentially useful in the functional classification of LV diastole in cats is introduced.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of veterinary cardiology: the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology