Myocardial fluid balance in dogs with naturally acquired heartworm infection. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of naturally acquired heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection on myocardial fluid balance as indicated by myocardial water content and the dynamics of transepicardial fluid flow. ANIMALS: 7 dogs infected with adult heartworms and 8 dogs free of heartworm infection. PROCEDURES: Infected dogs had heartworms in the right ventricle, pulmonary artery, or both but no evidence of cardiovascular disease on physical examination. A hemispheric capsule was attached to the epicardial surface of all dogs for determination of transepicardial fluid dynamics and permeability of the epicardium to water and protein. Myocardial water content and hydroxyproline content were assessed at necropsy. RESULTS: Myocardial water content was significantly lower in heartworm-infected dogs. No differences in myocardial hydroxyproline content, transepicardial fluid flow, or epicardial water or protein permeability were detected. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Heartworm infection significantly altered myocardial fluid balance in dogs, possibly because of a change in the myocardial interstitial pressure-volume relationship. These changes may be associated with increased vulnerability to cardiovascular stressors in heartworm-infected dogs.

published proceedings

  • Am J Vet Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Stewart, R. H., Uray, K., Cox, C. S., & Laine, G. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Stewart, Randolph H||Uray, Karen||Cox, Charles S||Laine, Glen A

publication date

  • March 2008