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Measurement of the cardiac silhouette in psittacines

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Medicine, Institute for Avian Diseases, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Medicine, Institute for Avian Diseases, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Medicine, Institute for Avian Diseases, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 17, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

Objective—To determine reference values for size of the radiographic cardiac silhouette in healthy adult medium-sized psittacines.

Design—Prospective case series.

Animals—46 African grey parrots (Psittacus erythacus), 7 Senegal parrots (Poicephalus senegalis), and 6 orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

Procedure—Birds were anesthetized, and ventrodorsal radiographic projections were obtained. Maximum width of the cardiac silhouette, width of the thorax at the level of the maximum width of the cardiac silhouette, and width of the coracoid were measured on the radiographs. Sternum length was directly measured on individual birds. Results of physical examination, electrocardiography, and echocardiography were normal in all birds.

Results—Mean cardiac silhouette width-to-sternum length ratio was 38%, mean cardiac silhouette widthto- thorax width ratio was 55%, and mean cardiac silhouette width-to-coracoid width ratio was 600%. Width of the cardiac silhouette was strongly correlated with length of the sternum, width of the coracoid, and width of the thorax. No significant differences between species were detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in healthy adult medium-sized psittacines, the cardiac silhouette on a ventrodorsal radiographic projection should be 35 to 41% of the length of the sternum, 51 to 61% of the width of the thorax, and 545 to 672% of the width of the coracoid. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:76–79)

Abstract

Objective—To determine reference values for size of the radiographic cardiac silhouette in healthy adult medium-sized psittacines.

Design—Prospective case series.

Animals—46 African grey parrots (Psittacus erythacus), 7 Senegal parrots (Poicephalus senegalis), and 6 orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

Procedure—Birds were anesthetized, and ventrodorsal radiographic projections were obtained. Maximum width of the cardiac silhouette, width of the thorax at the level of the maximum width of the cardiac silhouette, and width of the coracoid were measured on the radiographs. Sternum length was directly measured on individual birds. Results of physical examination, electrocardiography, and echocardiography were normal in all birds.

Results—Mean cardiac silhouette width-to-sternum length ratio was 38%, mean cardiac silhouette widthto- thorax width ratio was 55%, and mean cardiac silhouette width-to-coracoid width ratio was 600%. Width of the cardiac silhouette was strongly correlated with length of the sternum, width of the coracoid, and width of the thorax. No significant differences between species were detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in healthy adult medium-sized psittacines, the cardiac silhouette on a ventrodorsal radiographic projection should be 35 to 41% of the length of the sternum, 51 to 61% of the width of the thorax, and 545 to 672% of the width of the coracoid. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:76–79)