Cor pulmonale

From Dog

Cor pulmonale is a cluster of physiological signs associated with pulmonary hytpertension.

In dogs, this is commonly seen in heartworm disease and congestive heart failure[1] but can be seen in other diseases such as mitral valve stenosis, lungworm or cardiomyopathy[2]. Rarer causes include increased blood viscosity (eg, polycythemia, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, or atrial septal defect, stenosis of pulmonary artery branches, pulmonary thromboembolism, or pulmonary vasoconstriction. Unlike humans, primary pulmonary hypertension is rare in dogs.

As a consequence of chronic pulmonary arterial hypertension, right-sided ventricular hypertrophy, vena caval hypertension, hepatomegaly and ascites are commonly observed.

Chronic cor pulmonale usually results in right ventricular hypertrophy, whereas acute cor pulmonale usually results in dilatation.


  1. Onogawa T et al (2011) Effects of tolvaptan on systemic and renal hemodynamic function in dogs with congestive heart failure. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 25(1):S67-S76
  2. Chetboul V& Tissier R (2012) Echocardiographic assessment of canine degenerative mitral valve disease. J Vet Cardiol 14(1):127-148