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Dr. Lance C. Visser is the 2013 AKC Canine Health Foundation Clinician-Scientist Fellow from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Visser completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Master's Degree in Comparative Medicine & Integrative Biology at Michigan State University in 2010. He completed an Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and he is presently a Resident in Cardiology at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.
Among his many honors, Dr. Visser was the 2011 Small Animal Intern of the Year at North Carolina State University and received the Veterinary Student Research Award at Michigan State University in 2010. His work at the prestigious Laboratory for Comparative Orthopaedic Research of Dr. Steven Arnoczky at Michigan State University resulted in publications in the peer-reviewed journals Tissue, Veterinary Surgery and American Journal of Veterinary Research.
Heart disease is very common in dogs, estimated to be present in over 60% of all geriatric dogs. Heart disease has been reported to account for at least 8% of all canine mortality, though in some breeds this proportion is much greater. Veterinary cardiology has traditionally focused on evaluating the left ventricle in dogs with heart disease; the right ventricle (RV) was considered irrelevant for the assessment of cardiac function and was consequently ignored for decades. However, the importance of RV function with regard to clinical status and outcome has becomeapparent in human medicine over the last decade and the RV is likely of equal importance in canine patients suffering from numerous heart and lung conditions. Clinical RV functional assessment is severely underdeveloped in dogs. Several echocardiographic indices of RV function have been validated for people and these indices have shown to be important for risk assessment and prognostication in humans with many forms of heart and lung disease. Data on the echocardiographic assessment of RV function in conscious healthy dogs are sparse and reference values are lacking. Therefore, this study proposes to study RV systolic function comprehensively in the conscious healthy dog using transthoracic echocardiography during three contractile states (baseline, increased and decreased).
Dr. Visser's study will generate invaluable reference values and repeatability data of RV functional measurements in conscious healthy dogs. We will define the best-performing echocardiographic variables that track changes in RV function in response to pharmacologic manipulation. These data will stimulate further studies that will allow veterinary cardiologists to define new ways of evaluating and prognosticating for dogs with heart and lung diseases that affect RV function.