Objective—To compare echocardiographic variables of dogs with postmortem anatomic measurements and histologic characteristics of the mitral valve (MV).
Animals—21 cardiologically normal dogs.
Procedures—The MV was measured echocardiographically by use of the right parasternal 5-chamber long-axis view. Dogs were euthanized, and anatomic measurements of the MV annulus (MVa) were performed at the level of the left circumflex coronary artery. Mitral valve leaflets (MVLs) and chordae tendineae were measured. Structure of the MVLs was histologically evaluated in 3 segments (proximal, middle, and distal).
Results—Echocardiographic measurements of MVL length did not differ significantly from anatomic measurements. A positive correlation was detected between body weight and MVa area. There was a negative correlation between MVa area and the percentage by which the MVL area exceeded the MVa area. Anterior MVLs had a significantly higher number of chordae tendineae than did posterior MVLs. Histologically, layering of MVLs was less preserved in the distal segment, whereas the muscular component and adipose tissue were significantly more diffuse in the proximal and middle segments.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The MV in cardiologically normal dogs had wide anatomic variability. Anatomic measurements of MVL length were correlated with echocardiographic measurements.