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Feline Cardiomyopathy and Thromboembolism

Winn Funded Research

Stokol, T., M. Brooks, et al. (2008). “Hypercoagulability in cats with cardiomyopathy.” J Vet Intern Med 22(3): 546-552.
Arterial thromboembolism (ATE) is a serious and often fatal complication of cardiomyopathy in cats. Thromboemboli are believed to originate from clots in the left atrium or left atrial appendage. The factors causing clot formation are not fully understood. In this study, the researchers hypothesized that cats with cardiomyopathy develop ATE because they are in a systemic hypercoagulable state or have underlying endothelial (arterial or endocardial) injury. Healthy cats (n=30) and 3 groups of cats with cardiomyopathy were studied. Group 1 cats had left atrial enlargement (LAE) only. Group 2 cats had LAE with spontaneous echocardiographic contrast, atrial thrombi or both. Group 3 cats had acute ATE with LAE. Coagulation status was assessed in all three groups, including fibroginogen, Factor VIII, antithrombin, thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT) and D-dimer concentrations. The 3 groups of cats with cardiac disease had higher median fibrinogen concentrations than did the healthy cats. Criteria of hypercoagulability were found exclusively in group 2 and group 3 cats. Hypercoagulability was not associated with left atrial size or congestive heart failure. Systemic hypercoagulability is evident in many cats with cardiomyopathy, often without concurrent congestive heart failure or overt ATE, and may represent a risk factor for ATE. The researchers concluded that the pathogenesis of ATE is multifactorial and therefore treatment and prevention of this syndrome might involve drug combinations modulating hemostasis and inflammatory pathways.


Related articles:
Bedard, C., A. Lanevschi-Pietersma, et al. (2007). “Evaluation of coagulation markers in the plasma of healthy cats and cats with asymptomatic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” Vet Clin Pathol 36(2): 167-72.


Brazzell, J. L. and D. L. Borjesson (2007). “Evaluation of plasma antithrombin activity and D-dimer concentration in populations of healthy cats, clinically ill cats, and cats with cardiomyopathy.” Vet Clin Pathol 36(1): 79-84.