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Pathologic Manifestations on Surgical Biopsy and Their Correlation with Clinical Indices in Dogs with Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease

Lee, J., Mizuno, M., Mizuno, T., Harada, K., Uechi, M.
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2015 v.29 no.5 pp. 1313-1321
biopsy, dogs, fibrosis, heart failure, histopathology, observational studies, patients
BACKGROUND: Evaluation of myocardial function is clinically challenging in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD). Although myocardial dysfunction is caused by pathologic degeneration, histopathologic progression is poorly understood. OBJECTIVES: To characterize myocardial and pulmonary pathologic changes according to severity in dogs with naturally occurring DMVD, and to investigate whether or not pathologic degeneration is reflected by traditional clinical indices. ANIMALS: One hundred and seventeen dogs with naturally occurring DMVD. METHODS: Prospective observational study. Biopsied left atrium (LA), left ventricle (LV), and lung were evaluated histologically, and an attempt was made to correlate pathologic findings with clinical indices. RESULTS: Severe myocardial changes were observed in all International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council classes. In the lung, heart failure cell levels were significantly increased in class III patients (P < .0001). In a paired comparison, the LA showed significantly more severe degeneration than the LV, including myocardial fatty replacement, immune cell infiltration, and interstitial fibrosis (P < .0001). In contrast, myocardial cells were more hypertrophied in the LV than in the LA (P < .0001). Left ventricular end‐diastolic dimension (LVEDd) was associated with fatty replacement (P = .033, R² = 0.584) and myocardial vacuolization (P = .003, R² = 0.588) in the LA. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: In DMVD, although severe pathologic changes may be evident even in early stages, there may be pathologic discrepancy between the LA and the LV. Myocardial degeneration may be reflected by clinical indices such as LVEDd and EF.