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Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in the Boxer: a Pilot Study

Cardiomyopathy is a common ailment of the Boxer breed which includes serious irregular heartbeats and reduced strength of the heart’s contractions.  A form of the disease bears a striking resemblance to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in people, an important cause of sudden cardiac death in young human athletes that is characterized by replacement of the normal heart muscle by fat, scar tissue, and inflammation.  Current therapies fail to address the underlying structural changes in the heart muscle.  Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exert effects that may prove useful in improving quality of life or survival times of dogs with ARVC.  The major goal of this study is to evaluate preliminary safety of intravenous administration of MSCs in Boxers with ARVC, and to assess their effect on irregular heartbeat frequency, improving cardiac structural abnormalities, or prolonging survival in affected animals