Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), the oxidized product of trimethylamine, is produced by gastrointestinal microbiota from certain dietary nutrients including choline and L-carnitine. Elevated plasma concentrations of TMAO, choline, and L-carnitine have been shown to be associated with the presence and severity of cardiovascular disease in people and are independent predictors of adverse cardiac events and mortality. This prospective study investigated whether there are differences in concentrations of circulating TMAO, choline, or L-carnitine in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) compared to healthy controls (Controls).
Thirty client-owned dogs were recruited, including 10 dogs with CHF secondary to DMVD, 10 dogs with asymptomatic DMVD, and 10 Controls. Echocardiography was performed, and fasting plasma concentrations of TMAO, choline, and carnitine fractions were measured. Data were compared among the three groups using ANOVA or Kruskal-Wallis tests.
Trimethylamine N-oxide (P = 0.034), total L-carnitine (P = 0.034), carnitine esters, and carnitine esters to free carnitine ratio (E/F ratio) were significantly higher in dogs with CHF compared to asymptomatic DMVD. Trimethylamine N-oxide (P = 0.022), choline (P = 0.011), total L-carnitine (P = 0.011), carnitine esters, free carnitine, and E/F ratio were significantly higher in dogs with CHF compared to Controls. No differences were detected between asymptomatic DMVD dogs and Controls.
Dogs with DMVD and CHF had higher concentrations of TMAO compared to both asymptomatic DMVD dogs and Controls. Prospective studies are warranted to determine if TMAO concentrations can be altered with dietary or gut microflora modification, and whether altering TMAO concentrations could impact disease progression.
Thursday, June 14
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