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Am J Pathol. 1977 Mar;86(3):493-522.

Primary myocardial disease in the cat. A model for human cardiomyopathy.


Thirty-four cats with primary myocardial disease were studied. The cats were divided into two groups, depending on the clinical, hemodynamic, angiocardiographic, and pathologic findings. Group A consisted of those cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and Group B consisted of those cats with congestive cardiomyopathy. Similarity in the characteristics of cardiomyopathy in the human cat was found. Both Group A and Group B consisted predominantly of mature adult male cats. The most common presenting signs were dyspnea and/or thromboembolism, systolic murmurs with gallop rhythms on auscultation, cardiomegaly with (Group A) or without (Group B) pulmonary edema, abnormal electrocardiograms, elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressures, and angiocardiographic evidence of mitral regurgitation with left ventricular concentric hypertrophy (Group A) or left ventricular dilatation (Group B). Some cats in Group A also had evidence of left ventricular outflow obstruction. The principal pathologic findings in these cats were left atrial dilatation, symmetric hypertrophy or asymmetric septal hypertrophy of the left ventricle (Group A), and dilatation of the four cardiac chambers (Group B). Aortic thromboembolism was commonly observed in both groups. These clinical and pathologic findings indicate that cardiomyopathy in the cat is similar to the two most common forms of cardiomyopathy in the human (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, with and without obstruction, and congestive cardiomyopathy).

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