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Use of radiographic measurements to diagnose stage B2 preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs

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  • 1 1Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 2 2Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the usefulness of radiographic measures of the left atrium and ventricle as surrogates for echocardiographic criteria in identifying dogs with stage B2 preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD).

ANIMALS

56 client-owned dogs with preclinical mitral regurgitation attributed to MMVD examined between April 19, 2016, and November 22, 2017.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were retrospectively searched, and data collected included age, body weight, heart murmur grade, and echocardiographic and radiographic measurements. Dogs were grouped according to whether they did (case dogs) or did not (control dogs) meet echocardiographic criteria used to identify dogs with stage B2 MMVD. Measurements for lateral thoracic radiographic variables normalized to vertebral body units (VBUs) were obtained, and results were analyzed to identify variables that could best discriminate between case and control dogs.

RESULTS

Three radiographic variables of left atrial size (vertebral left atrial size [VLAS], left atrial width, and the combined variable of VLAS + left atrial width) most accurately distinguished control dogs from case dogs, and the VLAS was the simplest and fastest to perform in a clinical setting. The optimal cutoff for VLAS was 2.5 VBUs (sensitivity, 70%; specificity, 84%; and likelihood ratio, 4.38), with VLAS ≥ 2.5 VBUs for case dogs. The maximum specificity cutoff for VLAS was 3.0 VBUs (sensitivity, 40%; specificity, 96%; and likelihood ratio, 10.0), with VLAS ≥ 3.0 VBUs for case dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that when echocardiography is unavailable, radiographic VLAS ≥ 3 VBUs could be used with minimal risk of false-positive diagnosis of stage B2 MMVD in dogs.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the usefulness of radiographic measures of the left atrium and ventricle as surrogates for echocardiographic criteria in identifying dogs with stage B2 preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD).

ANIMALS

56 client-owned dogs with preclinical mitral regurgitation attributed to MMVD examined between April 19, 2016, and November 22, 2017.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were retrospectively searched, and data collected included age, body weight, heart murmur grade, and echocardiographic and radiographic measurements. Dogs were grouped according to whether they did (case dogs) or did not (control dogs) meet echocardiographic criteria used to identify dogs with stage B2 MMVD. Measurements for lateral thoracic radiographic variables normalized to vertebral body units (VBUs) were obtained, and results were analyzed to identify variables that could best discriminate between case and control dogs.

RESULTS

Three radiographic variables of left atrial size (vertebral left atrial size [VLAS], left atrial width, and the combined variable of VLAS + left atrial width) most accurately distinguished control dogs from case dogs, and the VLAS was the simplest and fastest to perform in a clinical setting. The optimal cutoff for VLAS was 2.5 VBUs (sensitivity, 70%; specificity, 84%; and likelihood ratio, 4.38), with VLAS ≥ 2.5 VBUs for case dogs. The maximum specificity cutoff for VLAS was 3.0 VBUs (sensitivity, 40%; specificity, 96%; and likelihood ratio, 10.0), with VLAS ≥ 3.0 VBUs for case dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that when echocardiography is unavailable, radiographic VLAS ≥ 3 VBUs could be used with minimal risk of false-positive diagnosis of stage B2 MMVD in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Rak's present address is the Veterinary Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Dr. Blume's present address is Ethos Veterinary Health, Williston, VT 05495. Dr. Rak was a fourth-year veterinary student when the present report was written.

Address correspondence to Dr. Stepien (rebecca.stepien@wisc.edu).