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Category: Dogs

Comparative Effect of Pacing Sites in Dogs with Complete Heart Block (Study Closed)
February 4, 2009 (published)
Amara Estrada; Herbert Maisenbacher; Robert Prosek

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Published study results can be found here.

Study Start Date: 01/01/2006
Study End Date: 7/31/2011

Recent investigation in cardiac pacemaker therapy concerns the optimal place within the heart for implantation of pacemakers. This study looks at dogs in need of pacemaker therapy, and investigates immediate and long term differences in cardiac function seen in dogs where pacemaker implantation has been performed at various sites within the heart. The results from this study will provide veterinary cardiologists the critical information they need to provide optimal care for dogs requiring pacemaker therapy.

Study Design:
Prospective cohort study

Sample Size:

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs with naturally occurring complete heart block. Atropine will be administered at 0.04 mg/kg subcutaneously and an ECG will be repeated 30 minutes later. Dogs will only be included that have no response to atropine. Response to atropine will be defined as resolution of complete AV block.
  • Patients need initial and recheck evaluations at the University of Florida at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs with any other systemic or metabolic disease will be excluded from the study.
  • Dogs with moderate to severe degenerative valvular disease or myocardial failure will be excluded from the study.

Study Endpoints:
The patients will be followed for 18 months post-pacemaker implantation. Development of severe systemic or metabolic disease will exclude dogs from further follow-up.

If the patient meets criteria for inclusion into the study, the entire cost of the pacemaker implantation is paid for by the study. This includes initial work up (echocardiogram, ECG, thoracic radiographs, bloodwork) anesthesia, radiology, surgical placement of the pacemaker and one night in the intensive care unit. This cost typically amounts to about $2500 if paid for by the client. Additionally, recheck pacemaker interrogations and echocardiograms which will occur at 3 month, 6 months, 12 months and 18 months will also be paid for through the funding of the study. Initial evaluation for inclusion in the study will be paid for by the client if the patient does not meet inclusion criteria. This will typically involve an office visit, bloodwork, thoracic radiographs, an electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram. These procedures are the exact procedures which would be performed if the patient were not enrolled in the study and presented for pacemaker implantation. These costs typically amount to $500-700. Any complications or additional testing such as thoracic radiographs, bloodwork, hospitalization or lead dislodgement will not be covered by the study.

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Full Disclosure information:

  • The study is funded by a grant from Morris Animal Foundation.
  • The investigator does not have a conflict of interest.
  • The study will be published if results are negative.
  • The study will be reported on VIN.
  • The authors will acknowledge VIN if the study is published if VIN contributes substantially to patient recruitment. 


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