Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the cat. Cats with heart disease are at risk of sudden death from several possible causes. One cause is the formation of blood clots that block blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues. A similar problem is associated with humans with heart disease, heart attack, and/or stroke. This common emergency causes illness and death in both cats and humans. People at high risk for formation of blood clots have higher blood concentrations of an amino acid called homocysteine. In addition, low blood concentrations of B vitamins have been shown to be associated with the high concentrations of homocysteine in humans.
This study will document the blood concentrations of homocysteine and B vitamins in a group of cats that have heart disease and are at risk for the development of blood clots. This study will also correlate the concentration of homocysteine to measurements of clot formation. The goal of our research is to identify the underlying cause and develop a novel therapy to prevent or reduce the incidence of thromboembolism. The identification of an early marker of clot formation may give veterinarians evidence to begin preventative therapy minimizing these fatal complications of heart disease in cats and humans. (Ricky Fund Study)