Dual-source, multi-slice computed tomographic angiography of the coronary arterial circulation of the English bulldog


The goal of this study is to use the newest generation of cardiac CT scanners to investigate the coronary circulation of English bulldogs.


The English bulldog is the most commonly afflicted breed with pulmonary valve stenosis (PS), a congenital narrowing of one of the valves in the heart. The therapy for PS is to dilate the thick and narrowed valve with a balloon catheter. However, bulldogs are also known to have abnormal coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle, which can wrap around the pulmonary valve. If the coronary artery wraps around the pulmonary valve, then a balloon procedure cannot be performed due to the risk of tearing or damaging the coronary artery.

Historically, the only way to confirm that a dog suffers from an abnormal coronary artery is to catheterize the dog’s heart, which is both costly and requires general anesthesia. New computed tomographic (CT) scanners are very fast and are able to visualize the heart in excellent detail. Such scanners have proven useful in humans to define and clarify the coronary arteries without requiring cardiac catheterization. Our goal is to show that this is a viable method for evaluating the dog’s coronary circulation at less cost and without the need for general anesthesia.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Clinically healthy English bulldogs and English bulldogs with PS are eligible for this study.
  • The healthy bulldogs must not have any known underlying medical condition and must pass a careful physical examination.
  • Bulldogs with PS must not be in heart failure or have clinically significant heart rhythm disturbances at the time of examination.

Study Design

Your dog’s health condition will be evaluated, including a brief review of your dog’s medical history and a thorough physical examination. Blood will be drawn to measure your dog’s red blood cell levels and to store a blood sample for DNA collection. If your dog qualifies, they will receive a sedative and have an intravenous catheter placed. The CT scan will be performed with the dog resting comfortably on their chest and intravenous contrast will be given to highlight the arterial circulation. The contrast agent is given routinely to dogs undergoing CT and is proven safe in animals. Once the CT images are acquired, your dog will recover from the sedation and either return home with you if fully awake, or be monitored at the Veterinary Medical Center overnight if the imaging is performed in the evening. Because the imaging occurs at a human medical facility, it will require having your dog come to the Veterinary Medical Center in the early evening or on a weekend. This will conclude the study and no further recheck or follow up is required.

Client Compensation

  • The study will pay for all charges associated with the CT procedure (e.g., exam fee, blood work, sedation, scanner time, recovery overnight if necessary). The results of the CT scan will provide you with an overall assessment of your dog’s heart and benefit our understanding of the English bulldog.
  • If your dog has PS, the study will help to confirm whether your dog has an abnormal coronary circulation and whether they can undergo a balloon procedure.
  • The study does not cover the screening cost for the initial diagnosis of PS, only for the CT evaluation his/her coronary arterial circulation once such a diagnosis has been made by your veterinarian.

Client Cost

The client is not responsible for any cost other than adverse events exceeding $2,000.


Further Information

Please contact Dr. Brian Scansen – 614.292.3551 or scansen [dot] 2 [at] osu [dot] edu (scansen [dot] 2 [at] osu [dot] edu) for all questions related to this clinical trial.