Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a single dose of pimobendan on left atrial (LA) function in healthy cats.
Animals: Eleven client owned healthy cats.
Material and methods: - Standardized and repeated echocardiographic examinations were performed on healthy and conscious cats before and after a single dose of orally administered pimobendan (1.25 mg/cat). Left atrial systolic functional parameters were assessed.
Results: Some of the tested parameters of LA function showed significant improvement after pimobendan administration, whereas no significant effect on left ventricular function was observed. In particular, LA minimal diameters obtained from M-mode images in short (p=0.018) and long (p=0.009) axis reduced after pimobendan administration, whereas LA fractional shortening from short (p=0.027) and long (p=0.042) axis and LA appendage emptying velocity (p<0.001) significantly increased. A mild increase in heart rate (p=0.001), and a transient increase on the peak systolic wave pulmonary vein velocity (p=0.008) were also recorded as a possible effect.
Conclusions: A single dose of pimobendan appears to impact LA function in healthy cats. However, because of the small number of cats included, and the absence of a placebo group, these results cannot be definitively separated from the effect of time. Additional studies are needed to understand if similar effects are observed in cats with cardiomyopathy and LA dilatation.