• Open Access

Prognostic Indicators for Dogs with Dilated Cardiomyopathy


DVM, Dipl. PhD, ECVIMCA, Department Patologia Animale, Faculty Veterinary Medicine, Via L. da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco (To), Italy; e-mail: michele.borgarelli@unito.it.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of various clinical, ECG, echocardiographic, and Doppler echocardiographic variables in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy. The relationship to survival of 11 variables was evaluated in 63 dogs. Studied variables were age at time of diagnosis, class of heart failure (HF), dyspnea, ascites, atrial fibrillation (AF), ejection fraction (EF), E-point septal separation, end-diastolic volume index, end-systolic volume index (ESV-I), and restrictive or nonrestrictive transmitral flow (TMF) pattern. Median survival time was 671 days (lower 95% confidence limit, 350 days). Survival curves showed that severity of HF, ascites, ESV-I greater than 140 mL/m2, EF less than 25%, and restrictive TMF pattern had a significant negative relation to survival time. Thirty-nine dogs with both sinus rhythm and AF presented adequate TMF recordings; in these dogs, after stratification by TMF pattern, the restrictive TMF pattern was the most important negative prognostic indicator. We conclude that in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy the restrictive TMF pattern appears to represent a useful prognostic indicator. Class of HF, ascites, ESV-I, and EF are also useful indexes if an adequate TMF pattern is not recorded.