• Heart failure;
  • Hemodynamics;
  • Lungs

Background: Pulmonary edema and venous congestion are well-recognized signs of congestive heart failure (CHF) in advanced canine chronic mitral regurgitation (MR). However, little is known about pulmonary blood volume (PBV), blood pulmonary transit time (PTT), and the regulation of these.

Objectives: To measure and evaluate the relationships of PBV, forward stroke volume (FSV), and heart rate normalized blood pulmonary transit time (nPTT) in healthy dogs and dogs with MR.

Animals: Thirty-three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; 11 healthy, 4 in modified New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I, 11 in class II, and 7 in CHF.

Methods: Heart rate normalized PTTs were measured by radionuclide angiocardiography. Left ventricular end diastolic and systolic diameter, left atrial/aortic root ratio, and FSV were measured by echocardiography. PBV and pulmonary blood volume index (PBVI) were calculated by established formulas.

Results: PBVI was 308 ± 56 (mean ± SD) mL/m2 for healthy dogs, 287 ± 51 mL/m2 in NYHA class I, 360 ± 66 mL/m2 in Class II, and 623 ± 232 mL/m2 in CHF (P= .0008). Heart rate normalized PTT, not FSV, was a predictor of PBV (r= 0.92 and 0.02, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Increased PBV, not decreased FSV, is the main cause of increased nPTT in MR. Increased nPTT can be used as an indicator of abnormal cardiopulmonary function in dogs with MR.