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  • Author or Editor: Kathryn M. Meurs x
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Abstract

Objective—To perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis on paraffin-embedded myocardium from dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs with myocarditis to screen for canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus.

Sample Population—Myocardial specimens from 18 dogs with an antemortem diagnosis of DCM and 9 dogs with a histopathologic diagnosis of myocarditis were evaluated.

Procedure—Paraffin-embedded myocardial specimens were screened for viral genome by PCR analysis. Positive-control specimens were developed from cell cultures as well as paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from dogs with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of viral infection with canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus. The histologic characteristics of all myocardial specimens were classified regarding extent, location, and type of inflammation and fibrosis.

Results—Canine adenovirus type 1 was amplified from 1 specimen from a dog with DCM. Canine parvovirus, adenovirus type 2, and herpesvirus were not amplified from any myocardial specimens. Histologic analysis of specimens from dogs with DCM revealed variable amounts of fibrosis; myocardial inflammation was observed in 1 affected dog. Histopathologic analysis of specimens from dogs with myocarditis disclosed variable degrees of inflammation and fibrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Viral agents canine parvovirus, adenovirus types 1 and 2, and herpesvirus are not commonly associated with DCM or active myocarditis in dogs. Additional studies evaluating for nucleic acid from viruses that less commonly affect dogs or different types of infectious agents may be warranted to gain insight into the cause of DCM and myocarditis in dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62: 130–135)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the usefulness of echocardiography in the diagnosis of heartworm disease in cats and to compare this modality with other tests.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—43 cats with heartworm infection that had echocardiographic examinations at 2 veterinary teaching hospitals between 1985 and 1997. Twenty-two of these 43 cats also underwent radiography of the thorax and heartworm antibody and heartworm antigen testing.

Procedure—Cats were determined to be infected with Dirofilaria immitis infection on the basis of 1 or more of the following findings: positive modified Knott or antigen test result, echocardiographic evidence of heartworm disease, or confirmation of the disease on postmortem examination. The percentage of echocardiographs in which heartworms were evident was compared with the percentage of radiographs in which pulmonary artery enlargement was evident and results of antigen or antibody tests in cats in which all tests were performed.

Results—Overall, heartworms were detectable by use of echocardiography in 17 of 43 cats, most often in the pulmonary arteries. In the 22 cats in which all tests were performed, antibody test results were positive in 18, antigen test results were positive in 12, and pulmonary artery enlargement was evident radiographically and heartworms were identifiable echocardiographically in 14. Heartworm infection was diagnosed exclusively by use of echocardiography in 5 cats in which the antigen test result was negative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although echocardiography was less sensitive than antigen testing, it was a useful adjunctive test in cats that had negative antigen test results in which there was a suspicion of heartworm disease. The pulmonary arteries should be evaluated carefully to increase the likelihood of detection of heartworms echocardiographically. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc2001;218:66–69)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine electrocardiographic parameters in healthy llamas and alpacas.

Animals—23 llamas and 12 alpacas.

Procedure—Electrocardiography was performed in nonsedated standing llamas and alpacas by use of multiple simultaneous lead recording (bipolar limb, unipolar augmented limb, and unipolar precordial leads).

Results—Common features of ECGs of llamas and alpacas included low voltage of QRS complexes, variable morphology of QRS complexes among camelids, and mean depolarization vectors (mean electrical axes) that were directed dorsocranially and to the right. Durations of the QT interval and ST segment were negatively correlated with heart rate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—ECGs of acceptable quality can be consistently recorded in nonsedated standing llamas and alpacas. Features of ECGs in llamas and alpacas are similar to those of other ruminants. Changes in the morphology of the QRS complexes and mean electrical axis are unlikely to be sensitive indicators of ventricular enlargement in llamas and alpacas. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1719–1723)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To measure QT interval duration and QT dispersion in Boxers and to determine whether QT variables correlate with indices of disease severity in Boxers with familial ventricular arrhythmias, including the number of ventricular premature complexes per day, arrhythmia grade, and fractional shortening.

Animals—25 Boxers were evaluated by ECG and echocardiography.

Procedure—The QT interval duration was measured from 12-lead ECG and corrected for heart rate (QTc), using Fridericia's formula. The QT and QTc were calculated for each lead, from which QT and QTc dispersion were determined. Echocardiography and 24-hour ambulatory ECG were performed to evaluate for familial ventricular arrhythmias. Total number of ventricular premature complexes, arrhythmia grade, and fractional shortening were determined and used as indices of disease severity.

Results—There was no correlation between any QT variable and total number of ventricular premature complexes, arrhythmia grade, or fractional shortening. No difference between QT dispersion and QTc dispersion was identified, and correction for heart rate did not affect the results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—QT interval duration and dispersion did not correlate with indices of disease severity for familial ventricular arrhythmias. Heart rate correction of the QT interval did not appear to be necessary for QT dispersion calculation in this group of dogs. QT dispersion does not appear to be a useful noninvasive diagnostic tool in the evaluation of familial ventricular arrhythmias of Boxers. Identification of affected individuals at risk for sudden death remains a challenge in the management of this disease. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1481–1485)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the potential importance of dystrophin, α-sarcoglycan (adhalin), and β-dystroglycan, by use of western blot analysis, in several breeds of dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Sample Population—Myocardial samples obtained from 12 dogs were evaluated, including tissues from 7 dogs affected with dilated cardiomyopathy, 4 control dogs with no identifiable heart disease (positive control), and 1 dog affected with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (negative control for dystrophin). Of the affected dogs, 4 breeds were represented (Doberman Pinscher, Dalmatian, Bullmastiff, and Irish Wolfhound).

Procedure—Western blot analysis was used for evaluation of myocardial samples obtained from dogs with and without dilated cardiomyopathy for the presence of dystrophin and 2 of its associated glycoproteins, α-sarcoglycan and β-dystroglycan.

Results—Detectable differences were not identified between dogs with and without myocardial disease in any of the proteins evaluated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Abnormalities in dystrophin, α-sarcoglycan, and β-dystroglycan proteins were not associated with the development of dilated cardiomyopathy in the dogs evaluated in this study. In humans, the development of molecular biological techniques has allowed for the identification of specific causes of dilated cardiomyopathy that were once considered to be idiopathic. The use of similar techniques in veterinary medicine may aid in the identification of the cause of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, and may offer new avenues for therapeutic intervention. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62:67–71)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize features of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in Miniature Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terriers.

ANIMALS

69 Miniature Schnauzers and 65 Yorkshire Terriers, each with MMVD.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data for each dog were collected; the study period was January 2007 through December 2016. If available, radiographic data were evaluated, and a vertebral heart scale score was assigned for each dog. Statistical analysis was performed with Student t and Fisher exact tests.

RESULTS

Compared with Yorkshire Terriers, the prevalence of MMVD was significantly higher in Miniature Schnauzers and affected dogs were significantly younger at the time of diagnosis. Miniature Schnauzers were significantly more likely to have mitral valve prolapse and syncope, compared with Yorkshire Terriers. Yorkshire Terriers were significantly more likely to have coughing and have had previous or current treatment with cardiac medications, compared with Miniature Schnauzers. There was no statistical difference between breeds with regard to abnormally high vertebral heart scale scores or radiographic evidence of congestive heart failure.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

With regard to MMVD, features of the disease among Miniature Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terriers were similar, but there were also a few discernable differences between these 2 breeds and from historical findings for dogs with MMVD of other breeds. Clinical signs at the time of diagnosis differed between the 2 breeds, which may have reflected concurrent breed-specific conditions (sick sinus syndrome or airway disease [eg, tracheal collapse]). Future work should include prospective studies to provide additional information regarding the natural progression of MMVD in these dog breeds.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess survival time and adverse events related to the administration of pimobendan to cats with congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM).

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—27 cats receiving treatment with pimobendan and 27 cats receiving treatment without pimobendan.

Procedures—Medical records between 2003 and 2013 were reviewed. All cats with HCM or HOCM treated with a regimen that included pimobendan (case cats) were identified. Control cats (cats with CHF treated during the same period with a regimen that did not include pimobendan) were selected by matching to case cats on the basis of age, sex, body weight, type of cardiomyopathy, and manifestation of CHF. Data collected included signalment, physical examination findings, echocardiographic data, serum biochemical values, and survival time from initial diagnosis of CHF. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed and compared by means of a log rank test.

Results—Cats receiving pimobendan had a significant benefit in survival time. Median survival time of case cats receiving pimobendan was 626 days, whereas median survival time for control cats not receiving pimobendan was 103 days. No significant differences were detected for any other variable.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The addition of pimobendan to traditional treatment for CHF may provide a substantial clinical benefit in survival time for HCM-affected cats with CHF and possibly HOCM-affected cats with CHF.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine aortic ejection velocity in healthy adult Boxers with soft ejection murmurs without overt structural evidence of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and in healthy Boxers without cardiac murmurs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—201 Boxers.

Procedure—Dogs were examined independently by 2 individuals for evidence of a cardiac murmur, and a murmur grade was assigned. Maximal instantaneous (peak) aortic ejection velocity was measured by means of continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography from a subcostal location. Forty-eight dogs were reexamined approximately 1 year later.

Results—A soft (grade 1, 2, or 3) left-basilar ejection murmur was detected in 113 (56%) dogs. Overall median aortic ejection velocity was 1.91 m/s (range, 1.31 to 4.02 m/s). Dogs with murmurs had significantly higher aortic ejection velocities than did those without murmurs (median, 2.11 and 1.72 m/s, respectively). Auscultation of a murmur was 87% sensitive and 66% specific for the identification of aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s. An ejection murmur and aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s were identified in 73 (36%) dogs. For most dogs, observed changes in murmur grade and aortic ejection velocity during a follow-up examination 1 year later were not clinically important.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ejection murmurs were common among healthy adult Boxers and that Boxers with murmurs were likely to have high (> 2.0 m/s) aortic ejection velocities. The cause of the murmurs in these dogs is unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:770–774)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify clinical, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic abnormalities in Boxers with cardiomyopathy and echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—48 mature Boxers.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information on age; sex; physical examination findings; and results of electrocardiography, 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography.

Results—Mean age of the dogs was 6 years (range, 1 to 11 years). Twenty (42%) dogs had a systolic murmur, and 9 (19%) had ascites. Congestive heart failure was diagnosed in 24 (50%) dogs. Seventeen (35%) dogs had a history of syncope. Mean fractional shortening was 14.4% (range, 1% to 23%). Mean left ventricular systolic and diastolic diameters were 4.5 cm (range, 3 to 6.3 cm) and 5.3 cm (range, 3.9 to 7.4 cm), respectively. Twenty-eight (58%) dogs had a sinus rhythm with ventricular premature complexes (VPCs), and 20 had supraventricular arrhythmias (15 with atrial fibrillation and 5 with sinus rhythm and atrial premature complexes). Sixteen of the dogs with supraventricular arrhythmias also had occasional VPCs. Morphology of the VPCs seen on lead II ECGs was consistent with left bundle branch block in 25 dogs, right bundle branch block in 8, and both in 11.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that Boxers with cardiomyopathy and left ventricular dysfunction frequently have arrhythmias of supraventricular or ventricular origin. Whether ventricular dysfunction was preceded by electrical disturbances could not be determined from these data, and the natural history of myocardial disease in Boxers requires further study. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1102–1104)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of 4 antiarrhythmic treatment protocols on number of ventricular premature complexes (VPC), severity of arrhythmia, heart rate (HR), and number of syncopal episodes in Boxers with ventricular tachyarrhythmias.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—49 Boxers.

Procedure—Dogs with > 500 VPC/24 h via 24-hour ambulatory ECG (AECG) were treated with atenolol (n = 11), procainamide (11), sotalol (16), or mexiletine and atenolol (11) for 21 to 28 days. Results of pre- and posttreatment AECG were compared with regard to number of VPC/24 h; maximum, mean, and minimum HR; severity of arrhythmia; and occurrence of syncope.

Results—Significant differences between pre- and posttreatment number of VPC, severity of arrhythmia, HR variables, or occurrence of syncope were not observed in dogs treated with atenolol or procainamide. Significant reductions in number of VPC, severity of arrythmia, and maximum and mean HR were observed in dogs treated with mexiletineatenolol or sotalol; occurrence of syncope was not significantly different between these 2 treatment groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with sotalol or mexiletine-atenolol was well tolerated and efficacious. Treatment with procainamide or atenolol was not effective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:522–527)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association