• 1. Shaw PS, Rush JE. Canine pericardial effusion: pathophysiology and cause. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 2007; 29:400404.

  • 2. Ware W. Pericardial disease and cardiac tumors. In: Cardiovascular disease in small animal medicine. London: Manson Publishing, 2007;320327.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Tobias AH. Pericardial diseases. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman CE, eds. Textbook of veterinary internal medicine. 7th ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2010;13421352.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Berg R, Wingfield W. Pericardial effusion in the dog: a review of 42 cases. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1984; 20:721730.

  • 5. Dunning D, Monnet E, Orton C, et al. Analysis of prognostic indicators for dogs with pericardial effusion: 46 cases (1985–1996). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:12761280.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Stepien RL, Whitley NT, Dubielzig RR. Idiopathic or mesothelioma-related pericardial effusion: clinical findings and survival in 17 dogs studied retrospectively. J Small Anim Pract 2000; 41:342347.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Stafford Johnson M, Martin M, Binns S, et al. A retrospective study of clinical findings, treatment and outcome in 143 dogs with pericardial effusion. J Small Anim Pract 2004; 45:546552.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. MacDonald KA, Cagney O, Magne ML. Echocardiographic and clinicopathologic characterization of pericardial effusion in dogs: 107 cases (1985–2006). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2009; 235:14561461.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Aronson LR, Gregory CR. Infectious pericardial effusion in five dogs. Vet Surg 1995; 24:402407.

  • 10. Petrus DJ, Henik RA. Pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade secondary to brodifacoum toxicosis in a dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999; 215:647648.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11. Reineke EL. Burkett DE. Drobatz KJ. Left atrial rupture in dogs: 14 cases (1990–2005). J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2008; 18:158164.

  • 12. Shaw PS, Rush JE. Canine pericardial effusion: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 2007; 29:405411.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. Bahr RJ. Heart and pulmonary vessels. In: Thrall DE, ed. Textbook of veterinary diagnostic radiology. 5th ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2007;568590.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14. Maisch B, Seferovic PM, Ristic AD, et al. Guidelines on the diagnosis and management of pericardial diseases executive summary. The Task Force on the Diagnosis and Management of Pericardial Diseases of the European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J 2004; 25:587610.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15. Buchanan JW, Bucheler J. Vertebral scale system to measure canine heart size in radiographs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1995; 206:194199.

  • 16. Gardner IA, Greiner M. Receiver-operating characteristics curves and likelihood ratios: improvements over traditional methods for the evaluation and application of veterinary clinical pathology tests. Vet Clin Pathol 2006; 35:817.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. Hansson K, Häggström J, Kvart C, et al. Interobserver variability of vertebral heart size measurements in dogs with normal and enlarged hearts. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2005; 46:122130.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. Lamb CR, Tyler M, Boswood A, et al. Assessment of the value of the vertebral heart scale in the radiographic diagnosis of cardiac disease in dogs. Vet Rec 2000; 146:687690.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19. Nakayama H, Nakayama T, Hamlin R. Correlation of cardiac enlargement as assessed by vertebral heart size and echocardiographic and electrocardiographic findings in dogs with evolving cardiomegaly due to rapid ventricular pacing. J Vet Intern Med 2001; 15:217221.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20. Lamb CR, Boswood A. Role of survey radiography in diagnosing canine cardiac disease. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 2002; 24:316326.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21. Guglielmini C, Diana A, Pietra M, et al. Use of vertebral heart score in coughing dogs with chronic degenerative mitral valve disease. J Vet Med Sci 2009; 71:913.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22. Lord P, Hansson K, Kvart C, et al. Rate of change of heart size before congestive heart failure in dogs with mitral regurgitation. J Small Anim Pract 2010; 51:210218.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23. Dukes-McEwan J, Borgarelli M, Tidholm A, et al. Proposed guidelines for the diagnosis of canine idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. J Vet Cardiol 2003; 5:719.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24. Carlsson C, Häggström J, Eriksson A, et al. Size and shape of right heart chambers in mitral valve regurgitation in small-breed dogs. J Vet Intern Med 2009; 23:10071013.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25. Berry CR, Graham JP, Thrall DE. Interpretation paradigms for the small animal thorax. In: Thrall DE, ed. Textbook of veterinary diagnostic radiology. 5th ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2007;462485.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26. Greco A, Meomartino L, Raiano V, et al. Effect of left vs. right recumbency on the vertebral heart score in normal dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2008; 49:454455.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27. Lamb CR, Wikeley H, Boswood A, et al. Use of breed-specific ranges for the vertebral heart scale as an aid to the radiographic diagnosis of cardiac disease in dogs. Vet Rec 2001; 148:707711.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28. Bavegems V, Van Caelenberg A, Duchateau L, et al. Vertebral heart size ranges specific for whippets. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2005; 46:400403.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29. Marin LM, Brown J, McBrien C, et al. Vertebral heart size in retired racing Greyhounds. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2007; 48:332334.

  • 30. Kraetschmer S, Ludwig K, Meneses F, et al. Vertebral heart scale in the Beagle dog. J Small Anim Pract 2008; 49:240243.

Advertisement

Accuracy of radiographic vertebral heart score and sphericity index in the detection of pericardial effusion in dogs

Carlo GuglielminiDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Search for other papers by Carlo Guglielmini in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Alessia DianaDepartment of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy.

Search for other papers by Alessia Diana in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Giorgia SantarelliDepartment of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy.

Search for other papers by Giorgia Santarelli in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM
,
Alessandra TorbidoneDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Search for other papers by Alessandra Torbidone in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Morena Di TommasoDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Search for other papers by Morena Di Tommaso in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Marco Baron ToaldoDepartment of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy.

Search for other papers by Marco Baron Toaldo in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
, and
Mario CiponeDepartment of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy.

Search for other papers by Mario Cipone in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of radiographically derived measurements of vertebral heart score (VHS) and sphericity index (SI) in the detection of pericardial effusion (PE) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—51 dogs with PE associated with various cardiac disorders, 50 dogs with left- or right-sided cardiac disorders without PE, 50 dogs with bilateral cardiac disorders without PE, and 50 healthy dogs.

Procedures—Measurements of VHS on lateral (lateral VHS) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal VHS) radiographs, SI on lateral (lateral SI) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal SI) radiographs, and global SI (mean of lateral SI and ventrodorsal SI) were obtained. Receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the radiographic indexes at differentiating dogs with PE from those with other cardiac disorders without PE.

Results—Measurements of lateral and ventrodorsal VHS were significantly higher in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Measurements of lateral, ventrodorsal, and global SI were significantly lower in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Cutoff values of > 11.9, > 12.3, and ≤ 1.17 for lateral VHS, ventrodorsal VHS, and global SI, respectively, were the most accurate radiographic indexes for identifying dogs with PE.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac silhouettes of dogs with PE were larger and more rounded, compared with those of dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE. Objective radiographic indexes of cardiac size and roundness were only moderately accurate at distinguishing dogs with PE from dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of radiographically derived measurements of vertebral heart score (VHS) and sphericity index (SI) in the detection of pericardial effusion (PE) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—51 dogs with PE associated with various cardiac disorders, 50 dogs with left- or right-sided cardiac disorders without PE, 50 dogs with bilateral cardiac disorders without PE, and 50 healthy dogs.

Procedures—Measurements of VHS on lateral (lateral VHS) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal VHS) radiographs, SI on lateral (lateral SI) and ventrodorsal (ventrodorsal SI) radiographs, and global SI (mean of lateral SI and ventrodorsal SI) were obtained. Receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the radiographic indexes at differentiating dogs with PE from those with other cardiac disorders without PE.

Results—Measurements of lateral and ventrodorsal VHS were significantly higher in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Measurements of lateral, ventrodorsal, and global SI were significantly lower in dogs with PE, compared with values for all dogs without PE. Cutoff values of > 11.9, > 12.3, and ≤ 1.17 for lateral VHS, ventrodorsal VHS, and global SI, respectively, were the most accurate radiographic indexes for identifying dogs with PE.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac silhouettes of dogs with PE were larger and more rounded, compared with those of dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE. Objective radiographic indexes of cardiac size and roundness were only moderately accurate at distinguishing dogs with PE from dogs with other cardiac disorders without PE.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Guglielmini's present address is Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, Agripolis, I-35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

This study was performed at the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Teramo, and the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna.

The authors thank Lelio Di Paolo for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Guglielmini (carlo.guglielmini@unipd.it).