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OBJECTIVE To evaluate optimal isolation of endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) from peripheral blood of horses.

SAMPLE Jugular and cephalic venous blood samples from 17 adult horses.

PROCEDURES Each blood sample was divided; isolation was performed with whole blood adherence (WBA) and density gradient centrifugation (DGC). Isolated cells were characterized by uptake of 1,1’-dioctadecyl-3,3,3’,3’-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate–labeled acetylated low-density lipoprotein (DiI-Ac-LDL), vascular tubule formation, and expression of endothelial (CD34, CD105, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2, and von Willebrand factor) and hematopoietic (CD14) cell markers by use of indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and flow cytometry.

RESULTS Colonies with cobblestone morphology were isolated from 15 of 17 horses. Blood collected from the cephalic vein yielded colonies significantly more often (14/17 horses) than did blood collected from the jugular vein (8/17 horses). Of 14 cephalic blood samples with colonies, 13 were obtained with DGC and 8 with WBA. Of 8 jugular blood samples with colonies, 8 were obtained with DGC and 4 with WBA. Colony frequency (colonies per milliliter of blood) was significantly higher for cephalic blood samples and samples isolated with DGC. Cells formed vascular tubules, had uptake of DiI-Ac-LDL, and expressed endothelial markers by use of IFA and flow cytometry, which confirmed their identity as ECFCs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Maximum yield of ECFCs was obtained for blood samples collected from both the jugular and cephalic veins and use of DGC to isolate cells. Consistent yield of ECFCs from peripheral blood of horses will enable studies to evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effect of PO administration of pimobendan on clinical and echocardiographic variables and survival time in cats with heart failure characterized by ventricular systolic dysfunction.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—27 client-owned cats (16 male and 11 female) with heart failure, treated with pimobendan (mean ± SD dosage, 0.26 ± 0.08 mg/kg [0.118 ± 0.036 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h).

Procedures—Information on medical history, laboratory results, diagnostic imaging findings, treatments received, and survival time were obtained from medical records of cats that received pimobendan because of cardiac disease. When possible, additional follow-up information was obtained through telephone interviews with referring veterinarians and owners.

Results—The mean ± SD age of all 27 cats was 8.9 ± 5.2 years. All cats had received several cardiac medications. Types of heart disease represented included unclassified cardiomyopathy (CM; n = 11 [41%]), dilated CM (8 [30%]), arrhythmogenic right ventricular CM (4 [15%]), congenital heart disease (3 [11 %]), and hypertrophic CM with regional hypokinesis (1 [4%]). All cats had ventricular systolic dysfunction. One cat with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve became severely hypotensive after initial administration of pimobendan and was excluded from the survival analysis. Median survival time was 167 days (95% confidence interval, 32 to 339 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pimobendan appeared to be well tolerated in cats with heart failure characterized by ventricular systolic dysfunction of various etiologies. Cats with systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve may develop systemic hypotension when treated with pimobendan. Additional studies are needed to establish dosages for pimobendan and its effects before it can be recommended for treatment of cats with CHF.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association