Background: Prior studies have suggested that pimobendan is associated with several positive effects in cats, including improved survival in cats with congestive heart failure and improved left atrial function in research colony cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and normal cats. However, there is still a paucity of pharmacodynamic data refuting or supporting the use of pimobendan in a clinical cat population. This clinical trial aimed to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effects and tolerability of a single dose of pimobendan in cats with HCM. Echocardiograms and Doppler-derived systolic blood pressures were performed in 21 client-owned cats with subclinical HCM at baseline and 90-min after oral administration of 1.25 mg of pimobendan (Vetmedin). Seven additional cats were evaluated post-placebo administration to account for intra-day variability. Results: Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and murmur grade were not significantly different between baseline and post-pimobendan evaluations. Left auricular blood flow velocity, left atrial size, and left ventricular fractional shortening were not significantly different between baseline and post-pimobendan evaluations. Mean (± standard deviation) tissue Doppler peak systolic velocity of the mitral annulus was significantly higher following pimobendan (7.4 cm/s ± 1.5 vs 8.5 ± 1.6; p = 0.02). Median (min, max) left-ventricular outflow tract maximum velocity was significantly higher following pimobendan [1.9 m/sec (1.5, 3.4) vs 2.6 m/sec (2.0, 4.0); p = 0.01]. Mean right-ventricular outflow tract maximum velocity was also significantly higher following pimobendan (1.5 m/s ± 0.51 vs 2.0 ± 0.53; p = 0.004). Mean left atrial fractional shortening was significantly higher following pimobendan (28% ± 6 vs 32% ± 7; p = 0.02). No adverse events were observed following pimobendan administration. Right ventricular outflow tract velocity was significantly higher following placebo in control cats (1.02 ± 0.21 versus 1.31 ± 0.31; p = 0.01). No other significant differences were detected. Conclusions: In client-owned cats with HCM, pimobendan acutely increased left atrial function and mildly increased left ventricular systolic function. Left ventricular outflow tract velocity was increased after pimobendan. Pimobendan was well tolerated in the acute setting in cats with HCM. The findings of this prospective, acute-dosing study confirm previous findings in research animals and retrospective analyses and suggest that chronic dosing studies are safe and warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas