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Retrospective evaluation of the incidence and prognostic significance of spontaneous echocardiographic contrast in relation to cardiac disease and congestive heart failure in cats: 725 cases (2006–2011)

Peck, Courtney M., Nielsen, Lindsey K., Quinn, Rebecca L., Laste, Nancy J., Price, Lori Lyn
Journal of veterinary emergency and critical care 2016 v.26 no.5 pp. 704-712
anticoagulants, aorta, blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, cats, death, echocardiography, heart failure, hospitals, mortality, patients, retrospective studies, risk, risk assessment, therapeutics, thyroxine
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the presence of spontaneous echocardiographic contrast (SEC) in cats with cardiomyopathy is associated with increased mortality. To establish whether specific types of cardiomyopathy are more often associated with SEC in an attempt to provide a risk‐stratification scheme for cats with increased risk of thromboembolic events. DESIGN: Retrospective study 2006–2011. SETTING: Tertiary referral and teaching hospital. ANIMALS: Seven hundred twenty‐five client‐owned cats undergoing echocardiographic evaluation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patient characteristics, including age, breed, clinical signs, type of cardiovascular disease, presence of SEC, and survival time were recorded. Thyroxine, HCT, and blood pressure were recorded when available. Among cats diagnosed with cardiac abnormalities based on echocardiographic findings, those with SEC were at significantly increased risk of death as compared to those without SEC. Cats with dilated cardiomyopathy, unclassified cardiomyopathy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy were significantly more likely to have SEC compared to cats with other types of cardiac disease. CONCLUSIONS: Cats with cardiomyopathy and SEC have an increased risk of death compared to cats without SEC, although other previously identified factors such as the presence of congestive heart failure and increased left atrium to aorta ratio remain important determinants of mortality. Cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, unclassified cardiomyopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy may benefit from anticoagulant therapy due to the increased risk of SEC in these subpopulations.