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  • Author or Editor: Kathryn M. Meurs x
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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


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


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


Objective—To determine the efficacy of long-term enalapril administration in delaying the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF).

Design—Placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter, randomized trial.

Animals—124 dogs with compensated mitral valve regurgitation (MR).

Procedures—Dogs randomly assigned to receive enalapril or placebo were monitored for the primary endpoint of onset of CHF for ≤ 58 months. Secondary endpoints included time from study entry to the combined endpoint of CHF-all-cause death; number of dogs free of CHF at 500, 1,000, and 1,500 days; and mean number of CHF-free days.

Results—Kaplan-Meier estimates of the effect of enalapril on the primary endpoint did not reveal a significant treatment benefit. Chronic enalapril administration did have a significant benefit on the combined endpoint of CHF-all-cause death (benefit was 317 days [10.6 months]). Dogs receiving enalapril remained free of CHF for a significantly longer time than those receiving placebo and were significantly more likely to be free of CHF at day 500 and at study end.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Chronic enalapril treatment of dogs with naturally occurring, moderate to severe MR significantly delayed onset of CHF, compared with placebo, on the basis of number of CHF-free days, number of dogs free of CHF at days 500 and study end, and increased time to a combined secondary endpoint of CHF-all-cause death. Improvement in the primary endpoint, CHF-free survival, was not significant. Results suggest that enalapril modestly delays the onset of CHF in dogs with moderate to severe MR.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) remains a disease with little therapeutic advancement. Rapamycin modulates the mTOR pathway, preventing and reversing cardiac hypertrophy in rodent disease models. Its use in human renal allograft patients is associated with reduced cardiac wall thickness. We sought to evaluate the effects of once-weekly delayed-release (DR) rapamycin over 6 months on echocardiographic, biochemical, and biomarker responses in cats with subclinical, nonobstructive HCM.


43 client-owned cats with subclinical HCM.


Cats enrolled in this double-blinded, multicentered, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial were allocated to low- or high-dose DR rapamycin or placebo. Cats underwent physical examination, quality-of-life assessment, blood pressure, hematology, biochemistry, total T4, urinalysis, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, and cardiac troponin I at baseline and days 60, 120, and 180. Fructosamine was analyzed at screening and day 180. Echocardiograms were performed at all time points excluding day 120. Outcome variables were compared using a repeated measures ANCOVA.


No demographic, echocardiographic, or clinicopathologic values were significantly different between study groups at baseline, confirming successful randomization. At day 180, the primary study outcome variable, maximum LV myocardial wall thickness at any location, was significantly lower in the low-dose DR rapamycin group compared to placebo (P = .01). Oral DR rapamycin was well tolerated with no significant differences in adverse events between groups.


Results demonstrate that DR rapamycin was well tolerated and may prevent or delay progressive LV hypertrophy in cats with subclinical HCM. Additional studies are warranted to confirm and further characterize these results.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association