Objective—To analyze velocities of the annulus of the left atrioventricular valve and left ventricular free wall (LVFW) in a large population of healthy cats by use of 2-dimensional color tissue Doppler imaging (TDI).
Animals—100 healthy cats (0.3 to 12.0 years old; weighing 1.0 to 8.0 kg) of 6 breeds.
Procedure—Radial myocardial velocities were recorded in an endocardial and epicardial segment, and longitudinal velocities were recorded in 2 LVFW segments (basal and apical) and in the annulus of the left atrioventricular valve.
Results—LVFW velocities were significantly higher in the endocardial than epicardial layers and significantly higher in the basal than apical segments. For systole, early diastole, and late diastole, mean ± SD radial myocardial velocity gradient (MVG), which was defined as the difference between endocardial and epicardial velocities, was 2.2 ± 0.7, 3.3 ± 1.3, and 1.8 ± 0.7 cm/s, respectively, and longitudinal MVG, which was defined as the difference between basal and apical velocities, was 2.7 ± 0.8, 3.1 ± 1.4, and 2.1 ± 0.9 cm/s, respectively. A breed effect was documented for several TDI variables; therefore, reference intervals for the TDI variables were determined for the 2 predominant breeds represented (Maine Coon and domestic shorthair cats).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—LVFW velocities in healthy cats decrease from the endocardium to the epicardium and from the base to apex, thus defining radial and longitudinal MVG. These indices could complement conventional analysis of left ventricular function and contribute to the early accurate detection of cardiomyopathy in cats.