Cardiac MRI in dogs with heart disease


Heart disease with mitral valve regurgitation (a leaky heart valve) is the most common heart disease in dogs.  Some of these dogs remain perfectly healthy, but others develop problems such as heart failure and ultimately early death. 

Studies of humans with similar heart diseases have found that heart muscles get scar tissue (fibrosis) and have areas of poor blood flow (ischemia) with long-term heart disease, and there are varying patterns of this damage from patient to patient.  Understanding the pattern of damage for any individual patient is important, as this allows medications to be tailored to each patient.  The full extent and exact pattern of this damage to the myocardium can easily be discovered by using cardiac MRI examinations.  Cardiac MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a state-of-the-art way to learn as much information as possible about heart muscle health without requiring any invasive samples. 

Previously, this type of extensive evaluation of a dog's heart was not available in veterinary medicine.  Now, we can easily perform these exams in dogs to learn how to best treat their heart disease.  Our goal is to learn more about mitral valve disease in dogs so that we can provide better care and a longer period of improved quality of life for them and their owners.

What qualifies my pet for this trial?

To participate in this clinical trial your dog must:

  • Be of an age of at least 4 years
  • Have heart disease classified as mitral valve disease stage B2 (determined from x-rays and ultrasound)
  • Not have major non-cardiac illness
  • Have ability to return to the OSU-VMC in 1-7 days following initial visit

What does enrolling in this clinical trial involve?

Procedures (2 visits, 1-7 days apart)

Visit #1:

  • Physical examination
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
  • Thoracic radiographs (x-rays of the heart and lungs)
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Electrocardiogram (measures the heart's electrical activity)
  • Blood draw for standard bloodwork and cardiac biomarker analysis (NTproBNP, cTnI, galectin-3)

Visit #2:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood draw for PCV/TS
  • General anesthesia
  • Cardiac MRI (patients will be able to go home later in the day)

Client Compensation

All costs associated with this study are free with enrollment (~$2000).  There will also be a $500 incentive that can be used for any future recheck visits at the OSU-VMC, including food, medications, examinations, and recheck testing.


Dr. Winter


If you believe your pet may be eligible to enter this study,
please fill out a pre-screening questionnaire.