Background: A mutation in the sarcomeric gene coding for the myosin-binding protein C gene has been identified in a colony of Maine Coon cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (MyBPC3-A31P mutation). However, the close correlation between genotype and phenotype (left ventricular hypertrophy [LVH] and dysfunction) has never been assessed in a large population, particularly in heterozygous (Hetero) cats.
Objectives: To investigate LV morphology and function with echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in a population of Maine Coon cats tested for the MyBPC3-A31P mutation with focus on Hetero animals.
Animals: Ninety-six Maine Coon cats.
Methods: Prospective observational study. Cats were screened for the MyBPC3-A31P mutation and examined with both echocardiography and 2-dimensional color TDI.
Results: Fifty-two out of 96 cats did not have the mutation (wild-type genotype, Homo WT), 38/96 and 6/96 were Hetero- and homozygous-mutated (Homo M) cats, respectively. Only 11% of Hetero cats (4/38) had LVH and 29% (10/34) of Hetero cats without LVH were >4 years old (4.1-11.5 years). LVH was also detected in 2 Homo WT cats (4%). A significantly decreased (P < .05) longitudinal E/A (ratio between early and late diastolic myocardial velocities) in the basal segment of the interventricular septum was observed in Hetero cats without LVH (n = 34) compared with Homo WT cats without LVH (n = 50), thus confirming that the Hetero status is associated with regional diastolic dysfunction (P < .05).
Conclusions: The heterozygous status is not consistently associated with LVH and major myocardial dysfunction. Moreover, Homo WT cats can also develop LVH, suggesting that other genetic causes might be implicated.