Response of cats with dilated cardiomyopathy to taurine supplementation

Paul D. Pion From the Departments of Medicine (Pion, Kittleson, Thomas, Delellis) and Physiological Sciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Mark D. Kittleson From the Departments of Medicine (Pion, Kittleson, Thomas, Delellis) and Physiological Sciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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William P. Thomas From the Departments of Medicine (Pion, Kittleson, Thomas, Delellis) and Physiological Sciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Laura A. Delellis From the Departments of Medicine (Pion, Kittleson, Thomas, Delellis) and Physiological Sciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Quinton R. Rogers From the Departments of Medicine (Pion, Kittleson, Thomas, Delellis) and Physiological Sciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Summary

Between October 1986 and September 1988, 37 cats with moderate to severe idiopathic myocardial failure (dilated cardiomyopathy) were evaluated. Clinical management of these cats was similar to that described in the literature, except that it also included administration of 500 or 1,000 mg of the sulfur amino acid, taurine per day.

Early death (death within the first 30 days of treatment) occurred in 14 (38%) cats. One cat was lost to follow-up evaluation. Twenty-two cats (59%) had marked clinical and echocardiographic improvement and survived longer than 240 days. In all but 1 cat, the observed improvement in echocardiographic measurements persisted. Hypothermia and thromboembolism were positively associated with an increased risk of early death. Administration of digoxin did not significantly affect survival.

All 22 cats that survived > 30 days remained clinically stable despite withdrawal of all medications except taurine. Administration of taurine was eventually discontinued in 20 of the 22 cats and adequate taurine intake was thereafter provided for in the food.

The clinical response and 1-year survival rate of 58% (21 of 36 cats with a known outcome) in the taurine-treated group represents a marked improvement, compared with a 1-year survival rate of 13% (4 of 31 cats with a known outcome) in a retrospectively evaluated population of 33 cats with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Summary

Between October 1986 and September 1988, 37 cats with moderate to severe idiopathic myocardial failure (dilated cardiomyopathy) were evaluated. Clinical management of these cats was similar to that described in the literature, except that it also included administration of 500 or 1,000 mg of the sulfur amino acid, taurine per day.

Early death (death within the first 30 days of treatment) occurred in 14 (38%) cats. One cat was lost to follow-up evaluation. Twenty-two cats (59%) had marked clinical and echocardiographic improvement and survived longer than 240 days. In all but 1 cat, the observed improvement in echocardiographic measurements persisted. Hypothermia and thromboembolism were positively associated with an increased risk of early death. Administration of digoxin did not significantly affect survival.

All 22 cats that survived > 30 days remained clinically stable despite withdrawal of all medications except taurine. Administration of taurine was eventually discontinued in 20 of the 22 cats and adequate taurine intake was thereafter provided for in the food.

The clinical response and 1-year survival rate of 58% (21 of 36 cats with a known outcome) in the taurine-treated group represents a marked improvement, compared with a 1-year survival rate of 13% (4 of 31 cats with a known outcome) in a retrospectively evaluated population of 33 cats with dilated cardiomyopathy.

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