The microscopic anatomy of the atrioventricular node, bundle of His, both bundle branches and surrounding fibrous cardiac skeleton was studied in 40 large breed dogs of various ages. In the AV conduction system of all dogs over five years of age there was an increase of fibrous connective tissue, an infiltration of adipose tissue, loss of conduction fibers and focal fibrosis extending from the central fibrous body. Fibrosis was seen in the summit of the interventricular septum posterior to the AV node in dogs of all ages. Chondroid metaplasia was consistently observed in the central fibrous body and the root of the aorta in large breed dogs, including ten Doberman Pinschers of all ages. This metaplasia varied from a few chondroblasts and chondrocytes to mature chondrocytes with mineralization. Bone formation was seen in eight dogs. These changes appeared in close approximation to the cardiac conduction system above the bundle of His. No degenerative changes were seen in the AV bundle. Approximately one‐half of the large breed dogs five years of age and older had thickened medial and intima proliferation in the small coronary arterioles supplying the AV node. The results of this study suggest that the presence of cartilage and bone in the central fibrous body is a normal occurrence in large breed dogs at all ages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)