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To measure the mitral annulus in dogs. Our hypothesis was that mitral measurement would be possible and consistent among observers using CT.


Thoracic CT scans of dogs without known heart disease.


Five trained investigators measured 4 aspects of the mitral valve and the fourth thoracic vertebrae (T4) length using multiplanar reformatting tools. Ten randomly chosen animals were measured by all investigators to determine interobserver reliability.


There were 233 CT scans eligible for inclusion. Dogs weighed 2 to 96 kg (mean, 28.1 kg), with a variety of breeds represented. Golden Retrievers (n = 28) and Labrador Retrievers (n = 37) were overrepresented. The intraclass correlations were all greater than 0.9, showing excellent agreement between observers. The means and SDs of each measurement were as follows: trigone-to-trigone distance, 17.2 ± 4.7 mm; the remaining circumference, 79.0 ± 17.5 mm; commissure-to-commissure distance, 30.8 ± 6.5 mm; septal leaflet-to-lateral leaflet distance, 26.3 ± 6.0 mm; T4 length, 16.9 ± 3.1 mm; and the total circumference normalized by T4, 5.7 ± 0.7 mm.


This study provides information that may help in the development of future treatment for mitral valve dysfunction and subsequent annular enlargement.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research