Longitudinal Electrocardiographic Evaluation of Dogs with Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2014
Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 393–400, March/April 2014
How to Cite
López-Alvarez, J., Boswood, A., Moonarmart, W., Hezzell, M.J., Lotter, N. and Elliott, J. (2014), Longitudinal Electrocardiographic Evaluation of Dogs with Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 28: 393–400. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12311
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 3 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 25 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 3 JUN 2013
- Autonomic nervous system;
- Heart rate variability;
- Vasovagal tonus index
Increased heart rate (HR) and decreased heart rate variability (HRV) are evident in some dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD).
Evaluation of the factors influencing HR and HRV (assessed by the vasovagal tonus index; VVTI) and their change over time in dogs with DMVD.
Client-owned dogs (n = 257) with DMVD recruited from first opinion practice.
Prospective longitudinal follow-up at six-monthly intervals of dogs with DMVD. Dogs followed up for at least 18 months (n = 102) were grouped according to their outcome as dogs dying/euthanized because of cardiac disease (n = 28; Group 1), noncardiac disease (n = 40; Group 2) and dogs alive (n = 34; Group 3). HR and VVTI were measured on 1-minute ECG recordings. Repeated measures linear models were constructed to investigate the factors that influence HR and VVTI and their changes over time.
Heart rate and VVTI were affected by disease severity and were different in Cavaliers compared to other breeds. Group 1 and Group 2 dogs underwent an increase in HR and decrease in VVTI, evident at least 18 months before death. Group 1 had a further decrease in VVTI followed by an increase in HR approximately 1 year and 6 months before death, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
Dogs with DMVD have an increase in HR and decrease in HRV over a year before death, with greater changes in those dogs dying/euthanized because of cardiac disease. Both HR and VVTI can potentially be regarded as biomarkers for all-cause mortality.