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  • Author or Editor: Ann Marie Manning x
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Objective—To assess the frequency of heart murmurs in overtly healthy cats.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—103 healthy domestic cats.

Procedure—Background information and physical characteristics were assessed in cats that were candidates for blood donation during an 8-month period. For cats with heart murmurs, additional information collected included murmur timing, grade, point of maximal intensity, and presence of additional heart sounds.

Results—Heart murmurs were detected in 22 of the 103 (21%) cats. Echocardiography was performed in 7 of those 22 cats. The echocardiogram was considered normal in 1 cat; in the other 6 cats, diagnoses included hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (interventricular septal hypertrophic form [IVSH]; n = 4), left ventricular concentric hypertrophy with valvular disease (1), and equivocal IVSH (1). Thirteen cats had more than 1 examination during the study; 3 of them developed heart murmurs. There were no significant differences in age, sex, breed, coat color, eye color, or heart rate between cats with and without murmurs. Among the 103 cats, there were 6 pairs of siblings from 6 multiple- cat households and 16 cats from 7 multiple-cat households in which the cats were not related; the proportion of cats with murmurs was higher in the related cats (5/12) than in the unrelated cats (3/16), but the difference was not significant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that heart murmurs are detectable in a large proportion of overtly healthy cats and that many murmurs appear to be caused by structural heart disease that is in a clinically latent state. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:384–388)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To prospectively evaluate a survival prediction index (SPI) in dogs admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and to generate and test an improved SPI (ie, SPI2).

Sample Population—Medical records of 624 critically ill dogs admitted to an ICU.

Procedure—Data were collected from dogs within 24 hours after admission to an ICU. Variables recorded reflected function of vital organ systems, severity of underlying physiologic derangement, and extent of physiologic reserve; outcome was defined as dogs that survived or did not survive until 30 days after admission to the ICU. Probabilities of survival were calculated, using an established model (SPI). We then performed another logistic regression analysis, thereby reestimating the variables to create the new SPI2. Cross-validation of the models obtained was performed by randomly assigning the total sample of 624 dogs into an estimation group of 499 dogs and validation group of 125 dogs.

Results—Testing of SPI resulted in an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.723. Testing of SPI2 revealed an AUC of 0.773. A backwards-elimination procedure was used to create a model containing fewer variables, and variables were sequentially eliminated. The AUC for the reduced model of SPI2 was 0.76, indicating little loss in predictive accuracy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The new SPI2 objectively stratified clinical patients into groups according to severity of disease. This index could provide an important tool for clinical research. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62:948–954)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research