OBJECTIVE To assess the effects of age, body condition score (BCS), and muscle condition score (MCS) on radial and coccygeal systolic arterial blood pressure (SAP) in cats.
DESIGN Prospective randomized trial.
ANIMALS 66 privately owned cats enrolled between May and December 2010.
PROCEDURES BCS and MCS of cats were assessed by 2 investigators; SAP was measured via Doppler ultrasonic flow detector, with cats positioned in right lateral or sternal recumbency for measurements at the radial or coccygeal artery, respectively, with order of site randomized. Associations among variables were assessed through correlation coefficients, partial correlation coefficients, and ANCOVA.
RESULTS Interrater reliability for BCS and MCS assessment was high (correlation coefficients, 0.95 and 0.83, respectively). No significant effect was identified for order of SAP measurement sites. Coccygeal and radial SAP were positively correlated (ρ = 0.45). The median difference in coccygeal versus radial SAP was 19 mm Hg, but differences were not consistently positive or negative. Radial SAP was positively correlated with age (ρ = 0.48) and negatively correlated with MCS (ρ = −0.30). On the basis of the correlation analysis, the association between radial SAP and MCS reflected the confounding influence of age. Coccygeal SAP was not significantly correlated with age, BCS, or MCS.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of the coccygeal artery is recommended to reduce the confounding effects of age and sarcopenia on Doppler ultrasonographic SAP measurements in cats. Additionally, monitoring for changes in MCS is recommended for cats undergoing serial SAP measurement.