Michele Borgarelli in the clinic

Michele Borgarelli, DVM, PhD



Dept. of Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Email: micheb1@vt.edu

Dr. Borgarelli’s faculty bio

About Michele Borgarelli’s Research

The Comparative Cardiovascular Laboratory (CCVL) is a translational research group that studies cardiovascular diseases affecting dogs and humans. Our research focuses on chronic degenerative mitral valve disease (CDVD) in dogs. CDVD is the most common heart valve disease in dogs and the most common cause of congestive heart failure in this species. This disease shares several features with the same disease in humans. In fact, the natural history of the disease and its pathophysiology are very similar. Our research focuses on:

  • Improving knowledge on pathophysiology of chronic degenerative mitral valve disease
  • The role of pulmonary hypertension due to left-sided heart failure
  • Developing new techniques for mini-invasively repair of mitral valve
  • The design and conduct of clinical trials in companion animal with chronic mitral valve disease

To achieve our research objectives, our laboratory collaborates with clinically-oriented scientists and basic science researchers from US and European institutions. We have also established a collaborative partnership with private companies in order to develop new treatment strategies for CDVD. Our studies have contributed to the progression of knowledge on the pathophysiology, treatment, and prognosis of chronic mitral valve disease in dogs. 

3D Left ventricular analysisAnalyzing 3D echocardiographic images, a reconstruction of a beating left ventricle is created, and several complex parameters of ventricular size and function are generated.

Mitral valve model created using 3D-echocardiograpyThis model is created by analyzing 3D images acquired during echocardiography. This method allows measurements of several parameters of the valve, and thorough interpretation of its complex morphology, that would not be possible with any other non-invasive imaging technique.


Research Themes

  • Role of pulmonary hypertension in dogs with naturally occurring CDVD
  • Three-dimensional echocardiographic assessment of mitral valve and left ventricular function in dogs with CDVD
  • Minimally invasive repair of CDVD
  • Epidemiology and prognosis for dogs with CDVD (The LOOK-Mitral study


To view Dr. Borgarelli’s and the CCVL's publications: