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To investigate activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (NT-proANP) during development of clinical signs of decompensated mitral valve regurgitation (MR).


11 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with advanced MR attributable to chronic valvular disease.


Dogs were subjected to repeated examinations at 6-month intervals until signs of decompensation had developed (end point). Data acquired at end point were compared with data obtained from examinations 1 year and 1 to 6 months before decompensation. Each examination included physical examination, collection of venous blood, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography.


Echocardiography measurements of left atrial-to-aortic root ratio and left ventricular end diastolic diameter increased considerably during the study, whereas left ventricular end systolic diameter remained unchanged. The increase in cardiac size was associated with increased plasma concentration of NT-proANP. In contrast, plasma concentrations of aldosterone and angiotensin II were reduced at decompensation (aldosterone compared with the 2 earlier examinations and angiotensin II compared with values obtained 1 to 6 months before), despite decreased plasma protein concentration and hematocrit, suggesting fluid retention. The urine-to-plasma creatinine ratio was reduced at end point.

Conclusion and Clinical Implications

Early decompensated MR in dogs was not associated with increased circulating renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity, which may be caused by increased activity of ANP, and may be important for future therapeutic strategies of MR. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:77–82)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research