Background: Chronic congestive heart failure (CHF) in humans is associated with abnormal hemostasis, and abnormalities in hemostatic biomarkers carry a poor prognosis. Alterations in hemostatic pathways can be involved in the pathogenesis of CHF in dogs, and microthrombosis in the myocardium could contribute to increased mortality. Hypothesis: That plasma concentration or activity of hemostatic biomarkers is altered in dogs with CHF and that these factors predict mortality. Animals: Thirty-four dogs with CHF caused by either dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM, n = 14) or degenerative valvular disease (CDVD, n = 20) compared with 23 healthy age-matched control dogs were included in this study. Dogs with CHF were recruited from 2 referral cardiology clinics, and control dogs were owned by friends or colleagues of the investigators. Methods: Clinical examination and echocardiography were performed in all dogs. Plasma fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations, antithrombin and protein C activity, and thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT) were measured in all dogs. Results: Dogs with CHF had significantly higher fibrinogen (P = .04), D-dimer (P = .002), and TAT concentration (P < .0001), lower antithrombin (P < .0001) and protein C activity (P < .001) compared with control dogs. None of the memostatic biomarkers were associated with risk of death. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: There is evidence of a procoagulant state in dogs with CHF. The lack of predictive value for survival might be due to the small number of dogs examined. Further studies are necessary to investigate the presence and importance of microthrombosis in dogs with CHF.
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2007, Vol 21, Issue 3, p. 451-457