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Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function in mitral regurgitation: is the dog a useful model of man?

Zois, Nora E.a; Pedersen, Henrik D.c; Häggström, Jensd; Olsen, Lisbeth H.b

Cardiovascular Endocrinology: March 2014 - Volume 3 - Issue 1 - p 9–14
doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000028
Cardiovascular Biomarkers in Animal Models – A Bridge to Human Disease Edited by Jens Peter Goetze and Lisbeth Høier Olsen: Reviews

Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most common cause of primary mitral regurgitation in humans and the most common cardiac disease in dogs. Many similarities have been described and, therefore, the dog is considered to be a suitable natural model for MMVD in humans. Accurate identification of incipient myocardial deterioration is crucial to optimally time interventional surgery. Nonetheless, this issue is still an object of controversy. In this respect, studies of left ventricular (LV) function in dogs with MMVD could potentially be useful. The present review compares the results obtained in echocardiographic studies of LV function in humans and dogs with MMVD. Although different study designs pose a limitation and results within the two species are not entirely concordant, it appears that LV function is better preserved in small-sized and medium-sized dogs than in humans. This may limit the usefulness of dogs as a model for LV function in MMVD.

aDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet

bDepartment of Veterinary Disease Biology, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen

cNovo Nordisk A/S, Maaloev, Denmark

dDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Correspondence to Nora E. Zois, DVM, PhD, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark Tel: +45 3545 3545; fax: +45 3545 2880; e-mail:

Received September 5, 2013

Accepted January 9, 2014

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams Wilkins
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