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J Vet Med Sci. 1992 Aug;54(4):739-44.

Relationship between pulmonary arterial pressure and lesions in the pulmonary arteries and parenchyma, and cardiac valves in canine dirofilariasis.

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Laboratory of Internal Medicine, Gifu University, Japan.


The relationship between pulmonary hypertension and lesions was examined in 41 dogs infested naturally with heartworms, which consisted of 28 cases with pulmonary heartworm disease and 13 cases with caval syndrome. Pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) was measured before and 1 or 7 days after heartworm removal with a flexible alligator forceps. In these dogs, lesions were examined after the last measurement of PAP. The mean PAP was 28.2 +/- 16.0 mmHg (10.9 to 81.4 mmHg in range) at post-removal phase. Pulmonary arterial intimal lesions, pulmonary thromboemboli, pneumonic lesions, tricuspid valvular lesions and mitral valvular lesions were macroscopically recognized in 95, 59, 39, 54 and 56% of cases, respectively. These lesions were classified by severity and the relationship with PAP was examined by the multiple correlation analysis. The multiple coefficient correlation was found the highest between PAP and thromboemboli, followed by mitral valvular lesion, tricuspid valvular lesion, and pneumonic lesion. There was no significant correlation between PAP and intimal lesions. The coefficient of determination showed the highest value in thromboemboli when one variable was used, and increased only very slightly when a variable of thromboemboli was added to those of other lesions. The cases with high PAP had fresh thromboemboli in large pulmonary arteries. From these evidences, it was concluded that thromboemboli following natural death of heartworm was the most important factor causing an increase in PAP and developing clinical signs in canine heartworm disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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