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J Vet Intern Med. 2009 Jan-Feb;23(1):91-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2008.0218.x.

Prospective echocardiographic and tissue Doppler imaging screening of a population of Maine Coon cats tested for the A31P mutation in the myosin-binding protein C gene: a specific analysis of the heterozygous status.

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Unité de Cardiologie d'Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France.



A mutation in the sarcomeric gene coding for the myosin-binding protein C gene has been identified in a colony of Maine Coon cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (MyBPC3-A31P mutation). However, the close correlation between genotype and phenotype (left ventricular hypertrophy [LVH] and dysfunction) has never been assessed in a large population, particularly in heterozygous (Hetero) cats.


To investigate LV morphology and function with echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in a population of Maine Coon cats tested for the MyBPC3-A31P mutation with focus on Hetero animals.


Ninety-six Maine Coon cats.


Prospective observational study. Cats were screened for the MyBPC3-A31P mutation and examined with both echocardiography and 2-dimensional color TDI.


Fifty-two out of 96 cats did not have the mutation (wild-type genotype, Homo WT), 38/96 and 6/96 were Hetero- and homozygous-mutated (Homo M) cats, respectively. Only 11% of Hetero cats (4/38) had LVH and 29% (10/34) of Hetero cats without LVH were >4 years old (4.1-11.5 years). LVH was also detected in 2 Homo WT cats (4%). A significantly decreased (P < .05) longitudinal E/A (ratio between early and late diastolic myocardial velocities) in the basal segment of the interventricular septum was observed in Hetero cats without LVH (n = 34) compared with Homo WT cats without LVH (n = 50), thus confirming that the Hetero status is associated with regional diastolic dysfunction (P < .05).


The heterozygous status is not consistently associated with LVH and major myocardial dysfunction. Moreover, Homo WT cats can also develop LVH, suggesting that other genetic causes might be implicated.

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