02649: Three-dimensional Echocardiographic Determinants of the Age of Onset of Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $149,657
Michele Borgarelli, DVM; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
May 1, 2019 - October 31, 2023

Sponsor(s): American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust, Jeffrey Pepper, Norfolk Terrier Club, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Breed(s): Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Research Program Area: Cardiology
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Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) represents a major health issue in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs). The disease appears at an earlier age, compared to other breeds, and has a genetic, heritable basis. The cause of the disease is unknown, but the role of altered stresses on the mitral valve (MV) has been proposed as one of the triggers for developing the disease. Three-dimensional echocardiography (RT–3DTTE) is a non-invasive technique that allows for characterization of the morphology of the MV. The investigator’s preliminary studies using RT–3DTTE found that some CKCSs have a MV of a different shape compared to other breeds. This altered shape of the MV could impose abnormal forces on the valve and predispose the breed for early development of the disease. This study will determine whether the shape of the MV is linked to the age of onset of MMVD in CKCSs, and, if so, the shape of the MV could be used as a screening method, and for directing breeding decisions in order to lower the prevalence of MMVD in CKCSs.

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