Objective—To evaluate RBC distribution width (RDW) in dogs with chronic degenerative valvular disease (CDVD) with compensated or decompensated heart failure.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—27 healthy dogs and 135 dogs with CDVD (87 dogs with compensated heart failure and 48 dogs with decompensated heart failure).
Procedures—The RDW and various CBC and serum biochemical variables were compared among groups. Correlations between RDW and various echocardiographic variables were evaluated.
Results—Mean ± SD RDW in dogs with CDVD (13.1% ± 1.0%) was not significantly different from that of healthy dogs (12.8% ± 0.8%). The RDW of dogs with CDVD and compensated heart failure (13.0% ± 1.0%) was not significantly different from that of dogs with CDVD and decompensated heart failure (13.2% ± 1.1%). The RDW had a significant, weak, negative correlation with Hct (correlation coefficient, −0.250), hemoglobin concentration (correlation coefficient, −0.219), and mean corpuscular volume (correlation coefficient, −0.211). The RDW had a significant, weak, positive correlation with 1 echocardiographic index of CDVD severity (ie, the left atrium-to-aorta ratio [correlation coefficient, 0.183]).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this study population, RDW did not seem to be associated with the presence of heart failure or CDVD. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:858–862)