Background:Degenerative mitral valve disease (MVD) is the most common heart disease in small breed dogs, and chordae tendineae rupture (CTR) is a potential complication of this disease. The survival time and prognostic factors predictive of survival in dogs with CTR remain unknown.
Hypothesis:The prevalence and prognosis of CTR in dogs with MVD increases and decreases, respectively, with heart failure class.
Animals:This study used 706 dogs with MVD.
Methods:The diagnosis of CTR was based on a flail mitral leaflet with the tip pointing into the left atrium during systole, which was confirmed in several 2-dimension imaging planes using the left and right parasternal 4-chamber views.
Results:CTR was diagnosed in 114 of the 706 dogs with MVD (16.1%) and most of these (106/114, 93%) had severe mitral valve regurgitation as assessed by color Doppler mode. CTR prevalence increased with International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) clinical class (i.e., 1.9, 20.8, 35.5, and 69.6% for ISACHC classes Ia, Ib, II, and III, respectively [P < .05]). Long-term follow-up was available for 57 treated dogs (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics) and 58% of these (33/57) survived > 1 year after initial CTR diagnosis (median survival time, 425 days). Clinical class, the presence of ascites or acute dyspnea at the time of diagnosis, heart rate, plasma urea concentration, and left atrial size were predictors of survival.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: CTR is associated with a higher overall survival time than previously supposed. Its prognosis mostly depends on a combination of clinical and biochemical factors.