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  • Author or Editor: Marie-Claude Bélanger x
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Objective—To evaluate the usefulness of Doppler-derived peak flow velocity through the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT Vmax) and effective orifice area indexed to body surface area (EOAi) in puppies to predict development of subaortic stenosis (SAS) in the same dogs as adults.

Design—Prospective, longitudinal, observational study.

Animals—38 Golden Retrievers.

Procedures—Cardiac auscultation and echocardiography were performed on 2- to 6-month-old puppies, then repeated at 12 to 18 months. Subaortic stenosis was diagnosed when LVOT Vmax was ≥ 2.3 m/s in adult dogs with left basilar systolic murmurs.

Results—All puppies with EOAi < 1.46 cm2/m2 had SAS as adults. All adults with EOAi < 1.29 cm2/m2 had SAS. An LVOT Vmax > 2.3 m/s in puppyhood was 63% sensitive and 100% specific for SAS in adulthood. In puppies, LVOT Vmax was more strongly associated with a future diagnosis of SAS (area under the curve [AUC], 0.89) than was EOAi (AUC, 0.80). In puppies, the combination of LVOT Vmax and EOAi yielded slightly higher sensitivity (69%) and specificity (100%) for adult SAS than did LVOT Vmax alone. In unaffected and affected dogs, LVOT Vmax increased significantly from puppyhood to adulthood but EOAi did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In Golden Retriever puppies, LVOT Vmax > 2.3 m/s and EOAi < 1.46 cm2/m2 were both associated with a diagnosis of SAS at adulthood. The combination of these 2 criteria may result in higher sensitivity for SAS screening. Unlike LVOT Vmax, EOAi did not change during growth in either unaffected Golden Retrievers or those with SAS.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess the variability in vertebral heart score (VHS) measurement induced by cardiac and respiratory cycles in dogs.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—14 healthy Beagles.

Procedures—Dogs underwent fluoroscopic examination by 4 observers, and VHS was measured at end-tidal inspiration and end-tidal expiration during end systole and end diastole in left and right lateral recumbency. Mean VHS was compared within and among cardiac and respiratory phases and recumbency type, and correlation between VHS and heart rate was investigated. Interobserver variability was assessed.

Results—Mean VHS for each combination of respiratory and cardiac cycle was larger on images obtained in right lateral versus left lateral recumbency. The greatest differences were observed between VHS measured in the diastolic inspiratory phase (mean ± SD, 10.59 ± 0.49 vertebral units [VU] and 10.35 ± 0.50 VU for right and left lateral recumbency, respectively) and the systolic expiratory phase (10.11 ± 0.37 VU and 9.92 ± 0.50 VU for right and left lateral recumbency, respectively). The combination of respiratory and cardiac cycles induced a maximal difference in VHS of up to 0.97 VU and 1.11 VU in the inspiratory and expiratory phases, respectively. Heart rate was not correlated with the difference between VHS in systolic and diastolic phases.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinicians should be aware of the potential influence of these factors when assessing VHS in dogs; in addition to allowing optimal pulmonary assessment, consistently taking radiographs at end-inspiratory tidal volume may help to limit VHS variability attributable to the respiratory cycle. Further research is needed to assess the effects of cardiac and respiratory phases on VHS in dogs with cardiac or respiratory disease.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association