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  • Author or Editor: Katharine E. Peper x
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To evaluate the usefulness of manubrium heart scores (MHSs) in distinguishing between dogs with and without cardiac disease.


184 client-owned dogs with (n = 64) and without (120) cardiac disease.


Medical records, including thoracic radiographic images, of dogs that either had echocardiographically confirmed moderate to severe cardiac disease with cardiomegaly (case dogs) or were healthy and without evidence of cardiac disease (control dogs) were retrospectively reviewed. From right lateral thoracic radiographic images, the lengths of the cardiac short and long axes and the manubrium were measured and cardiac sphericity indices (CSIs), MHSs, and vertebral heart scores were determined. Dogs were grouped on the basis of whether they did or did not have cardiac disease (case dogs vs control dogs), breed size (large-breed dogs vs small-breed dogs), and whether cardiac disease affected the right side of the heart (right-sided cardiac disease) or the left side of heart (left-sided cardiac disease). Results were compared across groups.


The mean CSI was greatest in case dogs with right-sided cardiac disease, compared with other groups. In dogs of the present study, a combination of high short-, long-, and overall-MHSs was more suggestive of left-sided cardiac disease, whereas a high short-MHS without high long- and overall-MHSs was more suggestive of right-sided cardiac disease.


Results indicated that MHSs could be useful, objective values to help assess dogs for potential heart disease, and we recommend that MHSs be added to the diagnostic tools used by veterinarians when screening for heart disease in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association