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  • Author or Editor: Charlotte Misbach x
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Objective—To determine the signalment, clinical features, echocardiographic findings, and outcome of dogs and cats with ventricular septal defects (VSDs).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—56 dogs and 53 cats with VSDs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs and cats with VSDs diagnosed by means of conventional and Doppler echocardiography were reviewed. Signalment, clinical status, echocardiographic findings, and outcome data were recorded. Variables of interest were analyzed for the study population and subgroups according to species and clinical status.

Results—VSDs were isolated (ie, solitary defects) in 53 of 109 (48.6%) patients. Most (82/109 [75.2%]) VSDs were membranous or perimembranous. Terriers and French Bulldogs were commonly represented canine breeds. Most isolated VSDs were subclinical (43/53 [81%]) and had a pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio < 1. 5 (24/32 [75%]). The VSD diameter and VSD-to-aortic diameter ratio were significantly correlated with pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio in dogs (r = 0.529 and r = 0.689, respectively) and in cats (r = 0.713 and r = 0.829, respectively). One dog underwent open surgical repair for an isolated VSD and was excluded from survival analysis. Of the remaining animals with isolated VSDs for which data were available (37/52 [71%]), no subclinically affected animals developed signs after initial diagnosis, and median age at death from all causes was 12 years.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs and cats with isolated VSDs had a long survival time; few had clinical signs at diagnosis, and none with follow-up developed clinical signs after diagnosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:166–175)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To characterize the epidemiological, clinical, and echocardiographic features of dogs and cats with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and determine their survival times.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 15 dogs and 16 cats with a diagnosis of TOF as determined via echocardiography.

PROCEDURES Medical records of dogs and cats were reviewed to extract information on signalment, clinical status at the time of TOF diagnosis, echocardiographic findings, and any outcome data.

RESULTS The most common canine breeds were terrier types (n = 7). Most animals (28/31 [90%]) had clinical signs of TOF at the time of diagnosis, including cyanosis (16/31 [52%]). Pulmonic stenosis was characterized by a variable systolic Doppler-derived pressure gradient (median [range], 108 mm Hg [26 to 255 mm Hg]). Most ventricular septal defects were large, with a median (range) ratio of the diameter of the ventricular septal defect to that of the aorta of 0.60 (0.18 to 1.15). Median age at cardiac-related death was 23.4 months, with no significant difference between dogs and cats. Median survival time from TOF diagnosis to cardiac-related death was briefer for animals with no or low-grade heart murmur (3.4 months) than for those with higher-grade heart murmur (16.4 months). After adjustment for age and sex, having a lack of or a low- to mild-grade systolic heart murmur was significantly associated with a briefer survival time.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE With a few exceptions, cardiac-related death occurred predominantly in young adult dogs and cats with TOF, and most animals had severe clinical signs at the time of TOF diagnosis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association