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Clinical usefulness of cardiac event recording in dogs and cats examined because of syncope, episodic collapse, or intermittent weakness: 60 cases (1997–1999)

Janice M. BrightDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.

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 MS, DVM, DACVIM
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John V. CaliVeterinary Imaging Associates, 40 Byram Bay Rd, Hopatcong, NJ 07843.

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 DVM, DABVP

Abstract

Objective—To determine the clinical usefulness of cardiac event recording in evaluating dogs and cats with unexplained syncope, episodic collapse, or intermittent weakness.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—58 dogs and 2 cats.

Procedure—Medical records and electrocardiographic rhythm strips obtained by cardiac event recordings were reviewed. Cardiac rhythm data from the event recordings were classified as diagnostic or nondiagnostic. Diagnostic yield was calculated by dividing the number of animals for which cardiac event recording was diagnostic by the total number of animals undergoing cardiac event recording.

Results—For 51 animals, cardiac event recording was classified as diagnostic; therefore, overall diagnostic yield was 85%. Diagnostic yield was lower for animals without underlying structural heart disease (75.5%) than for animals with structural heart disease (95.6%). A specific arrhythmia was identified as the cause of clinical signs in 18 of the 51 (35%) animals for which cardiac event recording was diagnostic. Cardiac arrhythmia was definitively excluded as the cause of clinical signs in the remaining 33 (65%) animals in which cardiac event recording was diagnostic.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that cardiac event recording had a high diagnostic yield in dogs and cats examined because of unexplained syncope, episodic collapse, or transient weakness and ataxia, regardless of whether animals did or did not have an underlying structural heart disease. Diagnostic yield of cardiac event recording was higher than that reported previously for Holter monitoring. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1110–1114)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the clinical usefulness of cardiac event recording in evaluating dogs and cats with unexplained syncope, episodic collapse, or intermittent weakness.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—58 dogs and 2 cats.

Procedure—Medical records and electrocardiographic rhythm strips obtained by cardiac event recordings were reviewed. Cardiac rhythm data from the event recordings were classified as diagnostic or nondiagnostic. Diagnostic yield was calculated by dividing the number of animals for which cardiac event recording was diagnostic by the total number of animals undergoing cardiac event recording.

Results—For 51 animals, cardiac event recording was classified as diagnostic; therefore, overall diagnostic yield was 85%. Diagnostic yield was lower for animals without underlying structural heart disease (75.5%) than for animals with structural heart disease (95.6%). A specific arrhythmia was identified as the cause of clinical signs in 18 of the 51 (35%) animals for which cardiac event recording was diagnostic. Cardiac arrhythmia was definitively excluded as the cause of clinical signs in the remaining 33 (65%) animals in which cardiac event recording was diagnostic.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that cardiac event recording had a high diagnostic yield in dogs and cats examined because of unexplained syncope, episodic collapse, or transient weakness and ataxia, regardless of whether animals did or did not have an underlying structural heart disease. Diagnostic yield of cardiac event recording was higher than that reported previously for Holter monitoring. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1110–1114)