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SUMMARY

We studied, by means of echocardiography in vivo, the cardiac consequences of the double-muscled character selection in beef cattle. Morphologic and functional echocardiographic variables were regularly estimated in 17 Friesian and 8 Belgian White and Blue calves during their growth. A total of 50 and 44 sets of data were collected in each group, respectively. Recordings were obtained, using 2-dimensional and M-mode echocardiography, and included measurements in long- and short-axis views of the heart.

Most of the diastolic measurements of the left ventricle were not significantly different between breeds when normalized for body weight. To the contrary, systolic measurements of left ventricular wall thickness and dimensions were significantly (P ≤ 0.001) lower and greater, respectively, in Belgian White and Blue calves than in Friesian calves. This was interpreted as a result of significantly (P ≤ 0.001) lower left ventricular systolic functional indices in Belgian White and Blue than in Friesian calves.

Echocardiographic evidence that the double-muscled selection in cattle induces alteration in morphologic variables of left ventricle was not found. However, results indicate that indices of left ventricular systolic function are lower in double-muscled calves than in calves with standard conformation.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Right atrial, pulmonary artery, pulmonary capillary, pulmonary artery wedge, and systemic blood pressures of strenuously exercising horses increase markedly. As a consequence, myocardial metabolic O2 demand in exercising horses must be high. Experiments were, therefore, carried out on 9 healthy, exercise-conditioned horses (2.5 to 8 years old; 481 ± 16 kg) to ascertain the regional distribution of myocardial blood supply in the atria and ventricles at rest and during exercise. Blood flow was measured, using 15-μm-diameter radionuclide-labeled microspheres that were injected into the left ventricle while reference blood samples were being withdrawn at a constant rate from the thoracic aorta. Myocardial blood flow was determined at rest and during 2 exercise bouts performed on a high-speed treadmill at 8 and 13 m/s (0% grade). The sequence of exercise bouts was randomized among horses, and a 60-minute rest period was permitted between exercise bouts. There was considerable heterogeneity in the distribution of myocardial perfusion in the atria and the ventricles at rest; the right atrial myocardium received significantly (P < 0.05) less perfusion than did the left atrium, and these values were significantly (P < 0.05) less than those for the respective ventricular myocardium. The right ventricular myocardial blood flow also was significantly less than that in the left ventricle. With exercise, myocardial blood flow in all regions increased progressively with increasing work intensity and marked coronary vasodilation was observed in all cardiac regions. During exercise at 8 or 13 m/s, right and left atrial myocardial blood flows (per unit weight basis) were not different from each other. Although at treadmill speed of 8 m/s, left ventricular myocardial blood flow exceeded that in the right ventricle, this was not the case at 13 m/s, when perfusion values (per unit weight basis) became similar. These data suggested that, in exercising horses, myocardial metabolic O2 requirements increase markedly in all regions. However, the right atrial and right ventricular myocardial blood flows increased out of proportion to those in the left atrium and left ventricle, respectively.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate response of various cardiovascular variables after administration of incremental doses of dobutamine in healthy conscious dogs, using standardized dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE).

Animals

8 healthy dogs.

Procedure

A DSE was performed twice on each dog within 24 hours. Dobutamine was infused at a rate of 12.5 to 42.5 μg/kg/min, using incremental increases of 10 μg/kg/min. Doppler sphygmomanometry, electrocardiography, and echocardiography were performed. Left ventricular size, global ventricular performance, and left ventricular systolic myocardial function were measured by means of echocardiography.

Results

At the highest dosage, dobutamine induced an increase of 20 ± 3% and 109 ± 12% in systolic blood pressure and cardiac index, respectively. The latter was associated with a significant increase in heart rate and stroke index. Fractional shortening of the left ventricle, fractional thickening of the left ventricular free wall and interventricular septum, ejection fraction, and mean velocity of fiber shortening had a progressive and significant increase during dobutamine infusion. Preejection period and left ventricular ejection time had a progressive and significative decrease during the stress test.

Conclusions

The technique used was feasable, safe, and repeatable in healthy conscious dogs. Control values were determined.

Clinical Relevance

Data for these healthy dogs might be useful for comparison with results obtained from dogs with known or suspected cardiovascular disease. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1160-1165)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

We investigated the relation between left ventricular dysfunction and myocardial edema in dogs with heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection that were undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass. Dogs with and without D immitis were anesthetized by continuous thiopental infusion and were mechanically ventilated. Sonomicrometry crystals were placed on the long and short axes of the left ventricle, and a Millar pressure transducer was placed in the left ventricular chamber. Pressure-volume loops were digitized and continuously recorded. Dogs with and without D immitis were placed on standard hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, with 1 hour of aortic cross-clamp. Wet-to-dry weight ratio corrected for residual blood volume was used to quantitate the volume of myocardial edema. Preload recruitable stroke work was used as a preload-independent index of systolic function. Tau, the isovolumic relaxation time constant, was determined to assess diastolic relaxation. Dogs with D immitis had increased baseline myocardial wet-to-dry weight ratio. After cardiopulmonary bypass, myocardial edema increased in all dogs. Acute edema attributable to cardiopulmonary bypass decreased preload recruitable stroke work in all dogs of both groups, and dogs with D immitis could not be weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass. Myocardial edema increased diastolic relaxation times (τ) in dogs with and without D immitis. We conclude that cardiopulmonary bypass and heartworm infection induce myocardial edema. This edema compromises left ventricular systolic and diastolic function making D immitis an important confounding factor in weaning dogs from cardiopulmonary bypass.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

In this study, we tested the hypothesis that erythrocyte deformability is decreased in the development of cardiac failure induced by NaCl toxicosis. Deformability of erythrocytes and routine hematologic and biochemical variables were measured in 6 of 50 chickens that were given 5 g of NaCl/L in their drinking water from day 7 to day 42, and were compared with values in 6 of 50 healthy chickens given free access to tap water. Deformability was assessed by passing a 10% suspension of erythrocytes through a polycarbonate membrane with 5-µm pores. Chickens were euthanatized and heart and body weights were determined.

Treatment with NaCl induced right-sided cardiac failure up to day 28. The ratios of heart weight to body weight were greater, for right ventricle by 20 to 64% and for left ventricle by 15 to 27%, attributable to NaCl treatment. Deformability of erythrocytes of NaCl-treated chickens was markedly decreased, in association with increased erythrocyte size and plasma Na+ concentration. However, only part of the decreased deformability could be explained by swelling of erythrocytes. Decreased deformability could not be explained by increased cell viscosity because mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, the primary determinant of erythrocyte viscosity, was decreased. Because decreased deformability of erythrocytes has been demonstrated previously to be associated with increased vascular resistance, decreased deformability may have contributed to the development of right-sided cardiac failure in these chickens.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Eighteen rats were anesthetized with xylazine/ketamine and placed in right lateral recumbency, and a small incision was made in the skin of the left hemithorax. A 21-gauge, 1-inch, short-beveled hypodermic needle, attached directly to a pressure transducer filled with degassed saline solution, was advanced through the incision into the left ventricle and then advanced through the septum into the right ventricle. High-fidelity tracings of right and left ventricular pressures and their derivatives were obtained through this approach in 13 rats. In 5 rats, measurements of right ventricular pressures were obtained by additional right ventricular puncture through the incision in the left hemithorax. Right and left ventricular pressures were recorded on single occasions in 18 rats, twice at 2-week intervals in 6 rats, and 3 times at 2-week intervals in 3 rats. Minimal hemopericardium was observed, but most rats had evidence of hemorrhage on the visceral pericardium. Left and right ventricular pressures can be measured rapidly, safely, and repeatedly in anesthetized rats by this method.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Objective

To examine regional distribution of blood flow in the brain of horses at rest and during exercise.

Animals

9 clinically normal horses.

Procedure

Regional brain blood flow was measured using radionuclide-labeled 15-μm-diameter microspheres injected into the left ventricle, while reference blood samples were obtained from the aorta.

Results

At rest, cerebral cortex and caudate nuclei received significantly higher blood flow, compared with cerebral white matter. A similar perfusion heterogeneity existed in the cerebellum. In the brain stem, a gradual tapering of blood flow from thalamus-hypothalamus towards medulla was observed in standing horses. Progressive significant increases in heart rate and in aortic and right atrial pressures occurred during exercise at 8 and 13 m/s, and horses developed significant arterial hypoxemia and hypercapnia. Cerebral and cerebellar gray- to white-matter perfusion heterogeneity was maintained during exercise, indicating differential metabolic O2 needs. Despite arterial hypoxemia, hypercapnia, and hypertension, exercise did not result in significant changes in blood flow to the cerebral cortex and caudate nuclei whereas, in cerebral white matter, a significant decrease in blood flow was observed. In all cerebral tissues, vascular resistance increased during exercise, indicating autoregulation of cerebral blood flow. In the cerebellar cortex, blood flow increased significantly with strenuous exercise as vasodilation occurred. Vascular resistance in cerebellar white matter increased during exercise at 13 m/s. Blood flow in the medulla, pons, midbrain, and thalamus-hypothalamus was not significantly altered during exercise from that at rest.

Conclusion

Despite arterial hypoxemia, hypercapnia, and hypertension, autoregulation of cerebral and cerebellar blood flow is maintained in horses during exercise. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:893–897)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Using radionuclide-labeled 15-μm-diameter microspheres injected into the left ventricle, we examined blood flow to the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, kidneys, and various gastrointestinal tract tissues in 9 healthy horses while they were standing quietly (rest) and during exercise at 2 work intensities (8 and 13 m/s). Hemodynamic measurements were made during steady-state conditions, as judged by the stability of heart rate as well as aortic, pulmonary, and right atrial pressures. The similarity of blood flow values for the left and the right kidneys during each of the 3 conditions indicated adequate mixing of microspheres with blood. In standing horses, of all tissues examined, the thyroid gland had the highest blood flow (1,655.2 ± 338.5 ml/min/100 g)—being about threefold that in the kidneys. Adrenal blood flow, by contrast, was only 25% of that in the kidneys (589.5 ± 50.4 ml/min/100 g). Among the gastrointestinal tract tissues, glandular stomach and pancreas had the highest blood flows (214.3 ± 21.6 and 197.6 ± 23.4 ml/min/100 g, respectively). Small intestinal perfusion was not different from that in the ventral colon and cecum, but their values exceeded those for the dorsal and small colons. Exercise at 8 and 13 m/s caused significant increase in adrenal blood flow as vascular resistance decreased significantly. In the kidneys, blood flow was only insignificantly affected during exercise at 8 m/s, but at 13 m/s there was a profound reduction in renal blood flow as intense renal vasoconstriction occurred. Vasoconstriction also caused thyroid and pancreatic blood flow to decrease significantly at both levels of exertion. Significant vasoconstriction occurring in all gastrointestional tract tissues at 8 and 13 m/s caused blood flow to be diverted away from these vascular beds. Thus, our data indicated that renal, adrenal, and splanchnic organ/tissue blood flow responses of strenuously exercising horses closely resemble those described for exercising ponies.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Tracheal, bronchial, and renal blood flow were studied in 8 healthy ponies at rest and during exercise performed on a treadmill at a speed setting of 20.8 km/h and 7% grade (incline) for 30 minutes. Blood flow was determined with 15-μm-diameter radionuclide-labeled microspheres that were injected into the left ventricle when the ponies were at rest, and at 5, 15, and 26 minutes of exertion. Heart rate and mean aortic pressure increased from resting values (40 ± 2 beats/min and 124 ± 3 mm of Hg, respectively) to 152 ± 8 beats/min and 133 ± 4 mm of Hg at 5 minutes of exercise, to 169 ± 6 beats/min and 143 ± 5 mm of Hg at 15 minutes of exercise, and to 186 ± 8 beats/min, and 150 ± 5 mm of Hg at 26 minutes of exercise. Tracheal blood flow at rest and during exercise remained significantly (P < 0.05) less than bronchial blood flow. Tracheal blood flow increased only slightly with exercise. Vasodilation caused bronchial blood flow to increase throughout exercise. Pulmonary arterial blood temperature of ponies also increased significantly (P < 0.05) with exercise and a significant (P < 0.005) correlation was found between bronchial blood flow and pulmonary arterial blood temperature during exertion. At 5 minutes of exercise, renal blood flow was unchanged from the resting value; however, renal vasoconstriction was observed at 15 and 26 minutes of exercise. We concluded that bronchial circulation of ponies increased with exercise in close association with a rise in pulmonary arterial blood temperature. Also, increased thermal burden necessitated redistribution of blood flow away from kidneys late in exercise.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Experiments were carried out on 8 healthy ponies to examine the effects of prolonged submaximal exercise on regional distribution of brain blood flow. Brain blood flow was ascertained by use of 15-μm-diameter radionuclide-labeled microspheres injected into the left ventricle. The reference blood was withdrawn from the thoracic aorta at a constant rate of 21.0 ml/min. Hemodynamic data were obtained with the ponies at rest (control), and at 5, 15, and 26 minutes of exercise performed at a speed setting of 13 mph on a treadmill with a fixed incline of 7%. Exercise lasted for 30 minutes and was carried out at an ambient temperature of 20 C. Heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and core temperature increased significantly with exercise. With the ponies at rest, a marked heterogeneity of perfusion was observed within the brain; the cerebral, as well as cerebellar gray matter, had greater blood flow than in the respective white matter, and a gradually decreasing gradient of blood flow existed from thalamus-hypothalamus to medulla. This pattern of perfusion heterogeneity was preserved during exercise. Regional brain blood flow at 5 and 15 minutes of exercise remained similar to resting values. However, at 26 minutes of exercise, vasoconstriction resulted in a significant reduction in blood flow to all cerebral and brain-stem regions. In the cerebellum, the gray matter blood flow and vascular resistance remained near control values even at 26 minutes of exercise. Vasoconstriction in various regions of the cerebrum and brainstem at 26 minutes of exertion may have occurred in response to exercise-induced hypocapnia, arterial hypertension, and/or sympathetic neural activation.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research