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Title: Persistence of pulmonary endarteritis in canine heartworm infection 10 months after the eradication of adult parasites of Dirofilaria immitis
Authors: Falcón Cordón, Yaiza 
Montoya Alonso, José Alberto 
Caro Vadillo, Alicia 
Matos Rivero, Jorge Isidoro 
Carretón Gomez, Elena 
UNESCO Clasification: 310904 Medicina interna
310907 Patología
320501 Cardiología
Keywords: Heartworm
Dirofilaria immitis
Pulmonary hypertension
Proliferative endarteritis
Echocardiographic exam, et al
Issue Date: 2019
Journal: Veterinary Parasitology 
Abstract: Pulmonary endarteritis caused by Dirofilaria immitis and pulmonary hypertension (PH) are closely linked and the determination of PH could be validated to assess the severity and chronicity of the vascular damage, i.e. by the use of the Right Pulmonary Artery Distensibility (RPAD) Index. The aim was to evaluate the RPAD Index in dogs 10 months after the last dose of adulticide. The study included 23 client-owned dogs with heartworm brought for adulticide treatment. Echocardiographic exam was carried out to estimate worm burden, RPAD Index as well as other routine echocardiographic values on day 0 (diagnosis), day 120 (discharge), and 10 months after the last dose of adulticide. No significant differences were observed in the RPAD Index over time, neither when microfilaremic status and parasite burden were evaluated. An RPAD Index <29% was found in 52.2% of the dogs on day 0, day 120, and 10 months after the last dose of adulticide. Regarding other echocardiographic parameters, only significant differences were observed on tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) values between day 0:day 120 (p = 0.008), and day 0:end of the study (p = 0.037). There was not significant improvement in pulmonary damage 10 months after the elimination of the parasites (p = 0.296), suggesting that, once the endarteritis has developed, the vascular changes are chronic and may not be reversible. The modifications of the TAPSE value suggest an improvement in the systolic function of the right ventricle after the disappearance of the worms, independently of the presence of PH. The endarteritis causes a decrease in the elasticity in the pulmonary vasculature and an increase in the resistance that, chronically, and depending on the severity, will cause the development of PH and later right heart failure. This complication of the disease is one of the most damaging and frequent, so it is necessary to adequately monitor PH in dogs undergoing adulticide treatment. Furthermore, knowing the pulmonary status could provide valuable information to help provide an objective prognosis and help assess the need to add additional treatments, once the worms have been eliminated.
ISSN: 0304-4017
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2019.07.008
Source: Veterinary Parasitology [ISSN 0304-4017], v. 273, p. 1-4
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