Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affects one in seven of the UK cat population. The disease is little understood and no treatments have been proven to stop or reverse it.

A UK vet is conducting a “world first” research project to create feline heart muscles in the lab to study a deadly cardiac disease that affects more than one million cats in this country.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) affects one in seven of the UK cat population. The disease causes hypertrophy – decreasing the efficiency of heart function, and predisposing the patient to congestive heart failure and blood clot formation.

Although about 15% of UK cats suffer some degree of HCM, the cause of the disease is still little understood and no treatments have been proven to stop or reverse it.

In a unique project in domestic cats, Luke Dutton is creating a novel laboratory stem cell model of cat heart disease, which avoids the use of experimental animals, to study the disease and ultimately test the suitability of new drugs.