AKC CHF Calls for Research Samples

Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease


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Veterinary Heart Institute

AKC CHF Call for Participation

Research Area: Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease
Breeds: All
Date Request Posted: May 8, 2008
Chronic degenerative valve disease is the most common heart disease that affects dogs. To date, the cause of this disease has remained elusive. It is known that the collagen that provides much of the support in the valve is damaged in diseased valves. One popular theory is the existence of an imbalance between the proteins that break down collagen and those that prevent collagen breakdown. The proposed study will determine the difference in the balance between these proteins in normal cultured valve cells and valve cells cultured from diseased leaflets. Differences that exist between normal and diseased valve cells will help target future research projects and aid in determining the cause of this prevalent disease process.

We are requesting mitral valve tissue from dogs that have died or have been euthanized that have significant degenerative mitral valve disease. This valve tissue will be used to culture cells from the tissue in order for us to study this disease from a cell culture perspective. For inclusion in the study, dogs need to have a diagnosis of degenerative mitral valve disease from their veterinarian (if echocardiography findings are available, those should be provided as well) and the owner needs to be willing to let their referring veterinarian remove the mitral valve from the dog after it dies or is euthanized. The tissue should be removed within 2 hours of death or euthanasia.

At this point we are not studying a specific breed so any dog diagnosed with mitral valve disease is qualified to enter the study.

We are requesting the anterior mitral valve leaflet (the larger leaflet most associated with the septum and aorta) but if there is any confusion the entire mitral valve can be shipped and we can collect the anterior mitral valve leaflet once it arrives here. The sample should be shipped in phosphate buffered saline. If needed, we can ship tubes of phosphate buffered saline for sample collection. The sample should be shipped on ice overnight to the address below. Please contact Dr. Heaney if you need additional information.

Allison M. Heaney, DVM
Marsha Robertson, Research Technician
Washington State University
100 Dairy Road
Pullman, WA 99164 - 1120
Tel: 509-335-0711
Fax: 509-335-0880

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Please e-mail julie_osborne@ncsu.edu for more information.