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Objective—To compare flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) measurements in brachial and femoral arteries of healthy dogs habituated to the assessment method, evaluate repeatability of these measurements, and investigate effects of blood pressure cuff inflation time on femoral artery FMD measurements.

Animals—11 healthy adult Miniature Schnauzers.

Procedures—Arterial luminal diameter and blood flow velocity integral (FVI) were measured before and after cuff inflation of 5 minutes' (brachial and femoral arteries) or 3 minutes' duration (femoral artery) in separate experiments. A blood pressure cuff was inflated to > 200 mm Hg distal to each imaging site to increase local blood flow to induce reactive hyperemia. Changes in FVI after cuff deflation, FMD, and between-dog and within-dog coefficients of variation (CVs) were determined.

Results—After cuff inflation of 5 minutes' duration, greater changes were detected in median change in FVI and FMD of brachial arteries (174.0% and 8.0%, respectively), compared with values determined for femoral arteries (32.0% and 2.1%, respectively). Between-dog CV for brachial artery FMD was 34.0%, compared with 89.6% for femoral arteries, and within-dog CV was 32.5% for brachial arteries versus 51.6% for femoral arteries after cuff inflation of 5 minutes' duration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In healthy Miniature Schnauzers, FMD was greater and more repeatable in brachial arteries than in femoral arteries. Reactive hyperemia was inconsistently induced in femoral arteries following 3- or 5-minute cuff inflation times. Brachial, but not femoral, artery FMD measurement is a potentially useful research technique for measurement of endothelial function in dogs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess relationships among serum N-terminal procollagen type III concentration, urinary aldosterone-to-creatinine concentration ratio (UAC), and clinical variables in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and healthy dogs.

Animals—162 dogs with MMVD and 24 healthy control dogs of comparable age and body weight.

Procedures—Blood and urine samples were collected from each dog. Dogs with MMVD underwent echocardiography and ECG. Ventricular diameter measurements were normalized for body weight. Serum N-terminal procollagen type III and urinary aldosterone concentrations were measured via radioimmunoassay. Each dog was examined on 1 to 3 occasions. Examinations were repeated at approximately 6-month intervals.

Results—Serum N-terminal procollagen type III concentration decreased with increasing severity of MMVD and was negatively associated with age and left ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic diameters. The UAC increased with prior percentage change in left ventricular end-diastolic diameter per month, subsequent percentage change in left ventricular end-systolic diameter per month, and treatment with diuretics and was negatively associated with age. Both UAC and serum N-terminal procollagen type III concentration were higher in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels than in other breeds when other measured variables were controlled for.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs with MMVD, echocardiographic indicators of left ventricular remodeling appeared to be associated with a decrease in serum concentration of a marker of collagen type III turnover and an increase in urinary aldosterone concentration.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the between- and within-dog repeatability of a flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) measurement technique in healthy dogs.

Animals—43 male and female dogs of various breeds (weight range, 6.9 to 31.7 kg; age range, 11 months to 11 years).

Procedures—5 dogs were used to refine the technique; other dogs were classified as large (> 15 kg) or small (≥ 15 kg) before use in the main study. In each dog, a brachial artery was occluded for 5 minutes by inflating a blood pressure cuff (applied pressure was more than 50 mm Hg greater than that required to occlude flow). Two-dimensional ultrasonographic images of the artery were recorded during a 30-second period prior to cuff inflation (baseline) and during a 3-minute period after cuff deflation by each of 2 sonographers. Relative percentage increases in luminal size from baseline (ie, FMD) were calculated. Independent contributing factors to FMD (eg, body weight, age, and room temperature) were assessed.

Results—Median FMD was significantly greater in small dogs (77%; range, 0% to 19.3%) than it was in large dogs (2.2%; range, −2.2% to 10.6%); values were significantly greater in dogs < 6 years old, compared with dogs > 6 years old. Weight was the only independent contributing factor for FMD. Coefficients of variation for between- and within-dog repeatability were 99.7% and 62.8%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Application of the FMD measurement technique used in humans appears to be feasible in dogs and may provide a means of assessing canine endothelial function, although between and within-dog variations were large. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1154–1161)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research