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Aortic ejection velocity in healthy Boxers with soft cardiac murmurs and Boxers without cardiac murmurs: 201 cases (1997–2001)

Shianne L. Koplitz DVM1, Kathryn M. Meurs DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, Alan W. Spier DVM, PhD, DACVIM3,4, John D. Bonagura DVM, MS, DACVIM5, Virginia Luis Fuentes VetMB, PhD, DACVIM6, and Nicola A. Wright BS7
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.
  • | 4 Present address is the Department of Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201.

Abstract

Objective—To determine aortic ejection velocity in healthy adult Boxers with soft ejection murmurs without overt structural evidence of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and in healthy Boxers without cardiac murmurs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—201 Boxers.

Procedure—Dogs were examined independently by 2 individuals for evidence of a cardiac murmur, and a murmur grade was assigned. Maximal instantaneous (peak) aortic ejection velocity was measured by means of continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography from a subcostal location. Forty-eight dogs were reexamined approximately 1 year later.

Results—A soft (grade 1, 2, or 3) left-basilar ejection murmur was detected in 113 (56%) dogs. Overall median aortic ejection velocity was 1.91 m/s (range, 1.31 to 4.02 m/s). Dogs with murmurs had significantly higher aortic ejection velocities than did those without murmurs (median, 2.11 and 1.72 m/s, respectively). Auscultation of a murmur was 87% sensitive and 66% specific for the identification of aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s. An ejection murmur and aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s were identified in 73 (36%) dogs. For most dogs, observed changes in murmur grade and aortic ejection velocity during a follow-up examination 1 year later were not clinically important.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ejection murmurs were common among healthy adult Boxers and that Boxers with murmurs were likely to have high (> 2.0 m/s) aortic ejection velocities. The cause of the murmurs in these dogs is unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:770–774)

Abstract

Objective—To determine aortic ejection velocity in healthy adult Boxers with soft ejection murmurs without overt structural evidence of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and in healthy Boxers without cardiac murmurs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—201 Boxers.

Procedure—Dogs were examined independently by 2 individuals for evidence of a cardiac murmur, and a murmur grade was assigned. Maximal instantaneous (peak) aortic ejection velocity was measured by means of continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography from a subcostal location. Forty-eight dogs were reexamined approximately 1 year later.

Results—A soft (grade 1, 2, or 3) left-basilar ejection murmur was detected in 113 (56%) dogs. Overall median aortic ejection velocity was 1.91 m/s (range, 1.31 to 4.02 m/s). Dogs with murmurs had significantly higher aortic ejection velocities than did those without murmurs (median, 2.11 and 1.72 m/s, respectively). Auscultation of a murmur was 87% sensitive and 66% specific for the identification of aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s. An ejection murmur and aortic ejection velocity > 2.0 m/s were identified in 73 (36%) dogs. For most dogs, observed changes in murmur grade and aortic ejection velocity during a follow-up examination 1 year later were not clinically important.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ejection murmurs were common among healthy adult Boxers and that Boxers with murmurs were likely to have high (> 2.0 m/s) aortic ejection velocities. The cause of the murmurs in these dogs is unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:770–774)