P wave dispersion in obese dogs with and without mitral valve disease

ABSTRACT: Pwave dispersion (Pd) is an electrocardiographic index defined as the difference between the minimum and maximum Pwave duration in multiple leads. The augmentation of Pd reflects the discontinuous and inhomogeneous atrial depolarization resulting from cardiac and non-cardiac conditions. In humans, an increased Pd is associated with the development of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation. To investigate Pd in obese dogs, we enrolled 76 dogs, which were classified in four distinct categories according to body condition and the existance of valve insufficiency: obese dogs (O), dogs with both obesity and cardiac disease (O+CD), lean dogs with cardiac disease (CD) and healthy controls (H). To be included in the study, all dogs underwent an electrocardiographic and echocardiographic assessment. We reported significantly higher Pd in the animals included in categories O, O+CD and CD (18.0±7.6ms, 16.1±4.4ms, 12.1±4.3ms, respectively) as compared to the healthy subjects (7.3±2.2ms). Also, significant correlations between Pd and both the body mass index and body fat percentage were documented for the obese dogs. However, no association between Pd and LA/Ao could be identified in patients belonging to the O, O+CD and H categories. Thus, we have demonstrated that obese dogs, regardless of their valvular competency status, present high Pd values, suggesting an impaired propagation of atrial electrical impulse.