Dog study offers clues to target therapies in mitral valve prolapse

In the first biomarker discovery based on extracellular vesicles in a veterinary disease, researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University have discovered important biomarkers in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and congestive heart failure.

The findings could provide important insight into the molecular basis, diagnosis, and therapies for myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs, as well as mitral valve prolapse, a similar disease in humans. The results appear in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

In their analysis, researchers found that the expressions not only change with disease progression and development of heart failure in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease but also exhibit changes solely on the basis of aging in dogs.

MMVD in dogs closely resembles mitral valve prolapse in humans. In dogs, MMVD is the most common acquired cardiac disease and cause of congestive heart failure, making up two-thirds of all cardiac cases.

The disease is age-related, and its prevalence in older small breed dogs reaches 100 percent. Previous studies have shown that once in congestive heart failure, dogs have a median survival time between one and nine months.


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