02623: Circulating Cortisol Concentrations in Canine Congestive Heart Failure

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $35,473
Jessica Ward, DVM; Iowa State University
December 1, 2019 - November 30, 2023


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Cardiology
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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common disease in dogs. A major contributor to disease progression is the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), whose end-product aldosterone binds to mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and causes negative effects on the heart and blood vessels. RAAS activation is associated with a worse prognosis in humans and dogs with CHF. The stress hormone cortisol can also bind MRs. In healthy individuals, cortisol occupies the MR without activating it, while in disease states, bound cortisol can activate MRs just like aldosterone. In people with CHF, higher blood cortisol levels are associated with a higher risk of death. However, in the subset of patients treated with drugs that block MRs, cortisol is not associated with outcome. These findings suggest that the benefit of MR-blocking drugs may have more to do with blocking cortisol than with blocking aldosterone. The role of cortisol in dogs with CHF remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to determine the prognostic value of blood cortisol in dogs with CHF. Results of this study will help veterinarians better predict outcome for dogs with CHF and may suggest that MR-blocking drugs are indicated in treatment.


None at this time.

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