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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)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the frequency of variants in the pyruvate kinase dehydrogenase 4 (PDK4) and titin (TTN) genes in a group of Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and to determine whether there were unique clinical attributes to each variant.

ANIMALS

48 Doberman Pinschers with DCM.

PROCEDURES

Doberman Pinschers with recently diagnosed DCM were identified, and genomic DNA from each was genotyped with a PCR assay for detection of PDK4 and TTN genetic variants. Dogs were grouped on the basis of whether they had the TTN variant alone, PDK4 variant alone, both variants, or neither variant. Descriptive statistics were compiled for dog age, body weight, and left ventricular dimensions and fractional shortening and for the presence of ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias and heart failure. Results were compared across groups.

RESULTS

Of the 48 dogs, 28 had the TTN variant alone, 10 had both variants, 6 had neither variant, and 4 had the PDK4 variant alone. The mean age was younger for dogs with the PDK4 variant alone, compared with other dogs. However, the number of dogs with the PDK4 variant alone was very small, and there was an overlap in age across groups. No other meaningful differences were detected across groups, and independent genotype-phenotype relationships were not identified.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Although findings indicated that the TTN variant was most common, 6 dogs had neither variant, and this fact supported the concept of ≥ 1 other genetic contributor to DCM in Doberman Pinschers. Future studies are warranted to evaluate genotype-phenotype relationships in Doberman Pinschers with DCM.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of ventricular arrhythmias in clinically normal adult Boxers.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—301 Boxers (181 females and 120 males) > 1 year old with echocardiographically normal systolic function and no history of syncope or congestive heart failure.

Procedures—Physical examination, which included echocardiography, was performed on all dogs. A 24-hour ambulatory ECG was performed on each dog, and results were evaluated to assess ventricular arrhythmias. Statistical evaluation was performed to determine correlations between the total number of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs)/24 h, grade of ventricular arrhythmia, and age of the dogs.

Results—Age of dogs ranged from 1 to 16 years (median, 4 years). Number of VPCs/24 h in each dog ranged from 0 to 62,622 (median, 6 VPCs/24 h). Grade of arrhythmias ranged from 0 to 3 (median, 1). Age was correlated significantly with number of VPCs/24 h (r = 0.43) and with grade of arrhythmia (r = 0.37). Number of VPCs/24 h was significantly correlated with grade of arrhythmia (r = 0.82).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinically normal adult Boxers generally had < 91 VPCs/24 h and an arrhythmia grade < 2. Boxers with > 91 VPCs/24 h were uncommon and may have represented dogs with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or other disease processes that could have resulted in the development of ventricular arrhythmias.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify cardiac tissue genes and gene pathways differentially expressed between dogs with and without dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

ANIMALS 8 dogs with and 5 dogs without DCM.

PROCEDURES Following euthanasia, samples of left ventricular myocardium were collected from each dog. Total RNA was extracted from tissue samples, and RNA sequencing was performed on each sample. Samples from dogs with and without DCM were grouped to identify genes that were differentially regulated between the 2 populations. Overrepresentation analysis was performed on upregulated and downregulated gene sets to identify altered molecular pathways in dogs with DCM.

RESULTS Genes involved in cellular energy metabolism, especially metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, were significantly downregulated in dogs with DCM. Expression of cardiac structural proteins was also altered in affected dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that RNA sequencing may provide important insights into the pathogenesis of DCM in dogs and highlight pathways that should be explored to identify causative mutations and develop novel therapeutic interventions.

Full access
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)

Full access
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 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 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 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