Bovine Congestive Heart Failure (BCHF) in Feedlot Cattle

Bovine congestive heart failure (BCHF) is increasingly recognized as an emerging condition of cattle in the Western Great Plains of the United States and Canada.  BCHF is an untreatable, fatal condition involving pulmonary hypertension that culminates in right ventricular failure.  BCHF outbreaks are occurring in operations feeding well-managed, high genetic merit cattle. For some producers, it is the single most costly health-related problem with losses exceeding $250,000 annually in individual operations, even surpassing those from bovine respiratory disease. Consequently, reducing the impact of BCHF is a high priority for the cattle industry.


BCHF clinical cases at different stages of fattening. Three types of animals identified by feedlot pen riders as end-stage heart failure candidates. Clinical cases were born and raised at 1,000 to 1,200 m prior to feedlot arrival. Their respective heart gross morphologies with enlarged right ventricles and pulmonary arteries are shown below each case. The control heart is from an Angus heifer fattened at 550 m (Heaton et al., F1000Research 2019).

Genetic risk factors identified for BCHF in feedlot cattle


Scientific publication (April 2022)

 Association of ARRDC3 and NFIA variants with bovine congestive heart failure in feedlot cattle [version 1; peer-reviewed]F1000Research 2022, 11:385

ARS115 Public data release (May 2022)

Preliminary release of JMJD1C variants associated with bovine congestive heart failure in feedlot cattle

Updated USMARC-UNL Factsheet on genetic risk factor testing (April 2022)



International Plant and Animal Genome meeting XXVIII January 13, 2020, San Diego, CA, USA

Poster PE0326:

Association of ARRDC3 and NFIA Genes with Bovine Congestive Heart Failure

Slide presentation: 

Genetic Association with Bovine Congestive Heart Failure in Feedlot Cattle


January 13, 2020, press release describing new genetic testing:

New genetic test for bovine congestive heart failure may help breeding and management decisions

September, 2018, workshop report: 

Bovine pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure collaborators' Workshop, Clay Center Nebraska