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Objective—To determine whether logarithmic and polynomial models are superior to simple linear models for predicting reference values for M-mode echocardiographic variables in dogs with a wide range of body weights.

Animals—69 apparently healthy adult male and female dogs of various breeds, ages (range, 1 to 12 years; median, 3.5 years), and body weights (range, 3.9 to 97.7 kg; median, 25.4 kg).

Procedure—Echocardiographic M-mode measurements of the interventricular septum, left ventricular dimension (LVD), left ventricular wall, aorta, and left atrium were obtained. Simple linear, second-order polynomial, third-order polynomial, and logarithmic regression models were determined by use of the least-squares method to describe the relationship between M-mode measurements and body weight. Differences in adjusted R 2 values of logarithmic and polynomial models were tested for significance of contribution, compared with the simple linear model.

Results—Significant differences in adjusted R2 were found when comparing simple linear with logarithmic or polynomial models for LVD-diastole, LVD-systole, aorta, and left atrium. Differences in adjusted R2 between second-order polynomial, third-order polynomial, and logarithmic models were not significant for any M-mode measurement.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this study, logarithmic or second-order polynomial models predicted reference values of M-mode measurements for size of the cardiac chambers better than simple linear models for dogs with a wide range of body weights. Logarithmic and polynomial models were not superior to simple linear models for M-mode measurements of cardiac wall thickness. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:994–999)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To describe surgical techniques for and assess outcome of treatment of mitral regurgitation in dogs.

Design—Uncontrolled prospective study.

Animals—18 dogs with naturally occurring mitral regurgitation.

Procedure—All dogs weighed > 5 kg (11 lb) and had severe mitral regurgitation, congestive heart failure (CHF), and no serious noncardiac disease. Left ventricular volume indices, left atrial size, and degree of mitral regurgitation were determined echocardiographically before and after surgery. Repair techniques included circumferential annuloplasty, placement of artificial chordae, chordal fenestration and papillary muscle splitting, and edge-to-edge repair. Factors predictive for surgery survival and resolution of CHF were determined.

Results—12 dogs survived surgery. Factors predictive for surgery survival included weight > 10 kg (22 lb) and CHF of less than 6 months' duration. In 9 dogs, CHF resolved for a median period of 1 year (range, 4 months to 3 years) after surgery. One dog had stable CHF at 12 months. One dog died as a result of progressive CHF; another was euthanatized for a noncardiac reason. Left ventricular diastolic volume index was 226.9 ± 117.7 cm3/m2 before surgery and 134.9 ± 70.4 cm3/m2 at 6 months after surgery (n = 10). Factors predictive for resolution of CHF included left ventricular diastolic volume index < 250 cm3/m2 and systolic volume index < 70 cm3/m2.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Mitral valve repair may resolve CHF in dogs with severe mitral regurgitation, particularly in dogs that weigh > 10 kg and are treated within 6 months of the onset of CHF. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1941–1945)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 5-year-old male German Shepherd Dog was evaluated because of a 5-month history of progressive lethargy, weight loss, and heart failure.

Clinical Findings—On physical examination, bounding femoral pulses and systolic and diastolic murmurs were detected. Echocardiography revealed severe aortic valve insufficiency (AVI) and a large vegetative lesion on the aortic valve consistent with aortic valve endocarditis. The AVI velocity profile half-time was 130 milliseconds; the calculated peak systolic pressure gradient across the aortic valve was 64 mm Hg. Left ventricular diameter during diastole was 63.6 mm (predicted range, 40.2 to 42 mm) and during systole was 42.9 mm (predicted range, 25.4 to 27 mm). Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures were 120, 43, and 65 mm Hg, respectively.

Treatment and Outcome—To palliate severe AVI, the descending aorta was occluded (duration, 16.75 minutes) and heterotopic implantation of a porcine bioprosthetic heart valve in that vessel was performed. After surgery, systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures were 115, 30, and 61 mm Hg, respectively, in the forelimb and 110, 62, and 77 mm Hg, respectively, in the hind limb. Within 6 months, the AVI velocity profile half-time had increased to 210 milliseconds, indicating diminished severity of AVI. After 24 months, the dog was able to engage in vigorous exercise; no pulmonary edema had developed since surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Heterotopic bioprosthetic heart valve implantation into the descending aorta during brief aortic occlusion appears feasible in dogs and may provide substantial palliation for dogs with severe AVI.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare outcome and intermediateterm survival for dogs undergoing open surgical correction of subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) with those for dogs with SAS that did not undergo surgery.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—44 dogs with congenital SAS.

Procedure—Maximum instantaneous systolic pressure gradients were determined by use of Doppler echocardiography. Cardiopulmonary bypass and open surgical correction of SAS (membranectomy with or without septal myectomy) was performed in 22 dogs, whereas 22 dogs did not undergo surgical correction. Cumulative survival was compared between surgical and nonsurgical groups, using Kaplan-Meier nonparametric analysis and a Mantel-Cox log-rank test.

Results—Initial systolic pressure gradients were not significantly different for dogs undergoing surgery (128 ± 55 mm Hg), compared with those that did not undergo surgery (117 ± 57 mm Hg). Systolic pressure gradients were significantly decreased after surgery in dogs that underwent surgery (54 ± 27 mm Hg). Cumulative survival was not significantly different between dogs in the surgical and nonsurgical groups. Censoring surgery-related mortality in the analysis still did not reveal a significant difference in cumulative survival between the surgical and nonsurgical groups.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Despite reductions in the systolic pressure gradient and possible associated improvement in exercise tolerance, a palliative benefit on survival was not documented in dogs undergoing surgery for SAS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:364–367)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To describe the surgical technique for open resection of congenital subvalvular aortic stenosis in dogs and to determine outcome of dogs undergoing the procedure.


Uncontrolled clinical trial.


17 dogs with congenital discrete subvalvular aortic stenosis.


Dogs were placed on cardiopulmonary bypass by catheterizing the femoral artery and both vena cavae. The aorta was cross clamped, and cold cardioplegia solution was administered. The aortic root then was opened with a curvilinear incision. A subvalvular discrete fibrous ring was resected in all dogs. Septal myectomy was performed simultaneously on 11 dogs.


15 of 17 dogs survived the operation and were discharged from the hospital. Mean ± SD maximal instantaneous aortic systolic pressure gradient measured by means of Doppler echocardiography was significantly reduced from 119 ± 42 mm of Hg before surgery to 41 ± 10 mm of Hg 12 months after surgery. Despite substantial reduction in the systolic pressure gradient, 4 of 15 dogs died suddenly between 7 days and 30 months after surgery. Three of the 4 dogs that died suddenly had pressure gradients ≥ 180 mm of Hg and ventricular tachycardia before surgery. Eleven dogs were still alive between 1 and 48 months after surgery.

Clinical Implications

The procedure resulted in substantial reductions in systolic pressure gradients in dogs with severe congenital subvalvular aortic stenosis. However, some dogs with severe aortic stenosis died suddenly after surgery. Thus, this surgery should not be considered curative. Proof of a survival benefit in dogs undergoing this surgery will have to await longer term follow-up. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1255–1261)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association