• Open Access

Decreased Platelet Function in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Mitral Valve Regurgitation


Inge Tarnow, DVM, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 7 Gronnegaardsvej, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark; e-mail: int@kvl.dk.


With aggregometry, increased platelet activity has been reported in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) without mitral regurgitation (MR). In contrast, dogs with MR have been found to have decreased platelet activity. The purpose of this study was to test an easy bedside test of platelet function (the Platelet Function Analyzer [PFA-100]) to see if it could detect an increase in platelet activity in CKCS without MR and a decrease in platelet activity in CKCS with MR. This study included 101 clinically healthy dogs 1 year of age: 15 control dogs of different breeds and 86 CKCS. None of the dogs received medication or had a history of bleeding. The PFA-100 evaluates platelet function in anticoagulated whole blood under high shear stress. Results are given as closure times (CT): the time it takes before a platelet plug occludes a hole in a membrane coated by agonists. The CT with collagen and adenosine-diphosphate as agonists was similar in control dogs (median 62 seconds; interquartile interval 55–66 seconds) and CKCS with no or minimal MR (55; 52–64 seconds). The CT was higher in CKCS with mild MR (regurgitant jet occupying 15–50% of the left atrial area) (75; 60–84 seconds; P= .0007) and in CKCS with moderate to severe MR (jet 50%) (87; 66–102 seconds; P < .0001). CKCS with mild, moderate, and severe, clinically inapparent MR have decreased platelet function. The previous finding of increased platelet reactivity in nonthrombocytopenic CKCS without MR could not be reproduced with the PFA-100 device.