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To evaluate and report measurements of the radiographic cardiac silhouette of healthy juvenile and adult ospreys (Pandion haliaetus).


54 ospreys (22 adults, 19 juveniles, and 13 birds of undetermined age) without clinical signs of cardiac disease and with adequate ventrodorsal radiographic images for cardiac silhouette assessment.


Radiographs of ospreys were assessed to determine cardiac width at the widest point as well as sternal width and thoracic width at the same level. Two-way mixed-effects models were used to evaluate interrater reliability for mean rating. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to create predictive models of cardiac width and to establish a theoretical reference range for healthy ospreys.


Cardiac width of healthy ospreys was approximately 90% to 92% of sternal width and 67% to 69% of thoracic width. Both sternal width and thoracic width were significant predictors of cardiac width in independent predictive models as well as in a combined model after controlling for age. Thirty-four of 41 (83%) measured cardiac widths were within the theoretical reference range.


Ospreys are sentinels used in monitoring environmental health. Environmental factors may have an impact on the cardiac health of ospreys, but reference values for healthy ospreys have not been established for use in assessing cardiomegaly in this species. The radiographic ratios and predictive model obtained in this study may be useful for objective evaluation of cardiomegaly in ospreys.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research