Objective—To evaluate reproducibility of ejection fraction (EF), myocardial perfusion (MP), and pulmonary transit time (PTT) measured in a group of dogs by use of contrast echocardiography and to examine safety of this method by evaluating cardiac troponin I concentrations.
Animals—6 healthy dogs.
Procedures—2 bolus injections and a constant rate infusion of contrast agent were administered IV. Echocardiographic EF was determined by use of the area-length method and was calculated without and with contrast agent. The PTT and normalized PTT (PTT/mean R-R interval) were measured for each bolus. Constant rate infusion was used for global MP evaluation, and regional MP was calculated by use of a real-time method in 4 regions of interest of the left ventricle. Cardiac troponin I concentration was analyzed before and after contrast agent administration. Intraoberserver and interobserver variability was calculated.
Results—EF was easier to determine with the ultrasonographic contrast agent. For the first and second bolus, mean ± SD PTT was 1.8 ± 0.2 seconds and 2.1 ± 0.3 seconds and normalized PTT was 3.4 ± 0.3 seconds and 3.5 ± 0.3 seconds, respectively. A coefficient of variation < 15% was obtained for global MP but not for the regional MPs. No differences were detected between precontrast and postcontrast cardiac troponin I concentrations.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Contrast echocardiography appeared to be a repeat-able and safe technique for use in the evaluation of global MP and PTT in healthy dogs, and it improved delineation of the endocardial border in dogs.
Case Description—3 alpaca crias and cadavers of an alpaca cria and a llama cria were evaluated for evidence of esophageal dysfunction.
Clinical Findings—All 5 crias were between 3 and 5 months of age when clinical signs developed, and all had a thin body condition when examined. Clinical signs included coughing, regurgitation, and grossly visible esophageal peristaltic waves. A barium esophagram was used to diagnose esophageal obstruction, megaesophagus, and a vascular ring anomaly (VRA). Fluoroscopy was used to evaluate deglutition, esophageal peristalsis, and the extent of esophageal dilation in 1 alpaca cria. A persistent right aortic arch was identified in 1 alpaca cria, and a left aortic arch with right ductus arteriosus or ligamentum arteriosum and an aberrant right subclavian artery were identified in the 4 remaining crias.
Treatment and Outcome—Surgical correction of the VRA was attempted in the 3 live alpaca crias. It was complicated by the conformation and location of each VRA and inaccurate anatomic diagnosis of the VRAs before surgery. Treatment was universally unsuccessful because of intraoperative complications and the persistence of clinical signs after surgery.
Clinical Relevance—Megaesophagus is typically an idiopathic condition in camelids. However, these findings suggested that camelids with esophageal dysfunction during the neonatal period may have a VRA. The prognosis is grave for camelids with VRA, and accurate anatomic diagnosis of the VRA via the use of advanced imaging techniques (eg, angiography, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging) may improve the success of surgical intervention.