The Irish Wolfhound Foundation

COMPLETED - Irish Wolfhound (IWH) Screening Clinic for Occult Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Evaluation of Biomarkers

Study Start Date: 03-01-2014
Study End Date: Ongoing
Enrollment Status: CLOSED to new enrollment
Lead Researcher(s): William Tyrrell, DVM , Diplomate ACVIM Cardiology and Steven Rosenthal, DVM , Diplomate ACVIM Cardiology

Irish Wolfhounds have a high risk of developing dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM, a heart disease that typically progresses to sudden death or heart failure and thus limits the length and quality of life of some IWHs. If patients are diagnosed early and medication(s) are started, their length of life can be prolonged.

Some of the screening tests for this disease include an annual ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) and an electrocardiogram (ECG). These tests can be expensive and require special equipment and expertise to perform. The objective of this study is to determine if simple blood test(s) (NTproBNP and/or high sensitivity CTnI) can detect dilated cardiomyopathy in apparently healthy IWHs and establish if there is a specific normal level in this breed.

Previously, small studies have suggested that new blood test(s) like the ones included in this study are very good at helping identify dogs that have a very high risk of having the disease and thus which canine would benefit most from more advanced testing. If these blood test(s) can be validated in a large population of IWHs, then annual evaluation of this test in IWHs may be increased leading to early diagnosis and treatment of this life threatening disease.

The plan will be to obtain these blood samples and pair them with the results of the echocardiograms. When available the results can be reported to the IWH owner individually via email.

The results will be tabulated and presented to the Irish Wolfhound Foundation as well as at the ACVIM Forum in 2015. All results will be presented without identification of the specific animal at the time of presentation. Results will be confidential between Drs. Tyrrell and Rosenthal and the pet owner.

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