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To compare measurements of left ventricular volume and function derived from 2-D transthoracic echocardiography (2DE), transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), and the ultrasound velocity dilution cardiac output method (UDCO) with those derived from cardiac MRI (cMRI) in healthy neonatal foals.


6 healthy 1-week-old Standardbred foals.


Foals were anesthetized and underwent 2DE, TEE, and cMRI; UDCO was performed simultaneously with 2DE. Images acquired by 2DE included the right parasternal 4-chamber (R4CH), left apical 4- and 2-chamber (biplane), and right parasternal short-axis M-mode (M-mode) views. The longitudinal 4-chamber view was obtained by TEE. Measurements assessed included left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), end-systolic volume (LVESV), ejection fraction, stroke volume (LVSV), cardiac output (CO), and cardiac index (CI). Bland-Altman analyses were used to compare measurements derived from biplane, R4CH, and M-mode images and UDCO with cMRI-derived measurements. Repeatability of measurements calculated by 3 independent reviewers was assessed by the intraclass correlation coefficient.


Compared with cMRI, all 2DE and TEE modalities underestimated LVEDV and LVESV and overestimated ejection fraction, CO, and CI. The LVSV was underestimated by the biplane, R4CH, and TEE modalities and overestimated by UDCO and M-mode methods. However, the R4CH-derived LVSV, CO, and CI were clinically comparable to cMRI-derived measures. Repeatability was good to excellent for measures derived from the biplane, R4CH, M-mode, UDCO, and cMRI methods and poor for TEE-derived measures.


All assessed modalities yielded clinically acceptable measurements of LVEDV, LVESV, and function, but those measurements should not be used interchangeably when monitoring patient progress.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize the cardiopulmonary effects of dobutamine and norepinephrine infusion in isoflurane-anesthetized healthy alpacas.

Animals—8 adult alpacas.

Procedures—Initial baseline cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic variables were obtained 30 minutes after induction of isoflurane anesthesia in 8 alpacas (3 females and 5 sexually intact males). Four treatments (dobutamine at 4 and 8 μg/kg/min and norepinephrine at 0.3 and 1 μg/kg/min) were administered in random order via constant rate infusion over 15 minutes, followed by repeat measurements of cardiopulmonary values and a 20-minute washout period. Subsequent baseline and posttreatment measurements were similarly repeated until both drugs and dosages were administered to each animal. Baseline data in awake alpacas were obtained 18 to 24 hours following recovery from anesthesia.

Results—Both dobutamine and norepinephrine significantly increased cardiac index and arterial blood pressure from baseline values. Similar increases in hemoglobin concentration, oxygen content, and oxygen delivery were observed following administration of each drug at either dosage. Only dobutamine, however, reduced relative oxygen consumption while improving overall tissue oxygenation. Furthermore, heart rate was selectively enhanced by dobutamine and systemic vascular resistance by norepinephrine. Norepinephrine infusion resulted in dose-dependent changes in cardiopulmonary variables.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that both dobutamine and norepinephrine were appropriate choices to improve cardiac index, mean arterial pressure, and overall oxygen delivery in alpacas with isoflurane-induced hypotension. Careful titration by use of low infusion rates of dobutamine and norepinephrine is recommended to avoid potential arrhythmogenic effects and excessive vasoconstriction, respectively.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research