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
Source: PubMed


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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