02163: Is Hypothyroidism a Contributor to Progression of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy?

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $50,857
Kathryn M Meurs, DVM, PhD; North Carolina State University
January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2017

Sponsor(s): American Boxer Charitable Foundation

Breed(s): Boxer
Research Program Area: Cardiology
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Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in the Boxer dog is an adult onset, familial disease characterized by the presence of ventricular arrhythmias, fainting and sudden death. Dr. Meurs research group identified a causative mutation in the cardiac Striatin gene that is highly associated with the development of Boxer ARVC. They have demonstrated that some Boxer dogs with the mutation have a more severe form of the disease and will become quite sick while others will remain free of clinical signs. The reason for the variability in clinical signs is unknown but is thought to be associated with concurrent factors for that individual dog which could include genetic or other more external factors including diet, exercise and hormonal levels. Genetic factors could include common variants in the nucleotide sequence of other cardiac modifying genes that have been shown to influence the severity of cardiac diseases. In addition, endocrine issues like hypothyroidism complicate ARVC and may play a role in disease progression. Dr. Meurs hypothesizes that low thyroid levels and/or other genetic variants may lead to the development of the more severe form of Boxer ARVC. Understanding the role of these factors in the severity of disease will greatly improve the ability to manage the common and sometimes fatal heart disease of ARVC. Funding for the research is provided through the efforts and generosity of the American Boxer Charitable Foundation. The AKC Canine Health Foundation supports the funding of this effort and will oversee administration of funds and scientific progress reporting.


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