Associations between cardiac pathology and clinical, echocardiographic and electrocardiographic findings in dogs with chronic congestive heart failure
Department of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.The Veterinary Journal (Impact Factor: 1.76). 07/2010; 185(1):68-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2010.04.016
The objective of this study was to correlate defined pathological features with clinical findings in dogs with naturally occurring congestive heart failure (CHF). Fifty-eight dogs with CHF were examined clinically and using echocardiography and electrocardiography. Detailed cardiac post-mortem examination was used to assess intra-myocardial arterial narrowing, myocardial fibrosis and atrophy and myxomatous mitral valve degeneration (MMVD). Arterial narrowing significantly correlated with fibrosis (P<0.0001) and with fractional shortening, an indicator of systolic function (P=0.002). The grade of fibrosis was associated with shorter survival time (P=0.002), and the papillary muscle fibrosis score tended to correlate with proximal isovelocity surface area radius (P=0.03). Data from this study lend support to the hypothesis that naturally occurring canine CHF is affected by several factors such as MMVD, myocardial atrophy and fibrosis, and by arteriosclerosis. Further, more extensive research will be required to establish cause-effect relationships between these cardiac lesions and the pathophysiology of CHF in dogs.
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ABSTRACT: Autonomic modulation of heart rhythm is thought to influence the pathophysiology of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). (1) Holter-derived variables reflecting autonomic modulation of heart rhythm change with MMVD severity in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS); (2) Holter-derived variables can identify MMVD severity in CKCS; and (3) Holter-derived variables in CKCS in congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to MMVD differ from those in dogs of other breeds in CHF. Ninety privately owned dogs: 70 CKCS with variable MMVD severity and 20 non-CKCS in CHF secondary to MMVD. Dogs were prospectively recruited and divided into 5 MMVD severity groups based on history, breed, and physical and echocardiographic examination findings. Holter-derived variables included heart rate variability (HRV), heart rate (HR), and arrhythmia evaluated from 24-hour Holter recordings. In CKCS, 18 of 26 HRV (all P < .0002) and 3 of 9 arrhythmia (all P < .0004) variables decreased with increasing MMVD, whereas minimum and mean HR (all P < .0001) increased with increasing MMVD severity. An arrhythmia variable representing sinus arrhythmia ("premature normals") (P < .0001) and the HRV variable triangular index (TI) (P < .0001) could distinguish CKCS with moderate or severe mitral regurgitation from CKCS in CHF in specific intervals. Among dogs in CHF, Holter-derived variables did not differ among breeds. In CKCS, Holter-derived variables changed with MMVD severity. "Premature normals" and TI showed diagnostic potential. Breed differences were not seen among dogs in CHF secondary to MMVD.
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ABSTRACT: Degenerative mitral valve disease (MVD), the most common acquired heart disease in small-sized dogs, is characterized by valvular degeneration resulting in systolic mitral valve regurgitation (MR). Worsening of MR leads to several combined complications including cardiac remodeling, increased left ventricular filling pressure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and myocardial dysfunction. Conventional two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler examination plays a critical role in the initial and longitudinal assessment of dogs affected by MVD, providing information on mitral valve anatomy, MR severity, left ventricular (LV) size and function, as well as cardiac and vascular pressures. Several standard echocardiographic variables have been shown to be related to clinical outcome. Some of these markers (e.g., left atrium to aorta ratio, regurgitation fraction, pulmonary arterial pressure) may also help in identifying asymptomatic MVD dogs at higher risk of early decompensation, which remains a major issue in practice. However, both afterload and preload are altered during the disease course. This represents a limitation of conventional techniques to accurately assess myocardial function, as most corresponding variables are load-dependent. Recent ultrasound techniques including tissue Doppler imaging, strain and strain rate imaging, and speckle tracking echocardiography, provide new parameters to assess regional and global myocardial performance (e.g., myocardial velocities and gradients, deformation and rate of deformation, and mechanical synchrony). As illustration, the authors present new data obtained from a population of 91 dogs (74 MVD dogs, 17 age-matched controls) using strain imaging, and showing a significant longitudinal systolic alteration at the latest MVD heart failure stage.