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Objective—To compare the feasibility and repeatability of tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) for quantification of radial left ventricular (LV) velocity and deformation from different imaging planes and to correlate cardiac event timing data obtained by TDI to M-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler-derived time intervals in horses.

Animals—10 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Repeated echocardiography was performed by 2 observers from right and left parasternal short-axis views at papillary muscle and chordal levels. The TDI measurements of systolic and diastolic velocity, strain rate, strain peak values, and timing were performed in 8 LV wall segments (LV free wall and interventricular septum from right parasternal views; left and right region of LV wall from left parasternal views). The inter- and intraobserver within- and between-day variability and measurement variability were assessed. The correlation between TDI-based measurements and M-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler-based time measurements was calculated.

Results—TDI measurements of velocity, strain rate, and strain were feasible in each horse, although deformation could often not be measured in the LV free wall. Systolic and diastolic time intervals could be determined with low to moderate variability, whereas peak amplitude variability ranged from low to high. The TDI-based time measurements were significantly correlated to M-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler measurements.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—TDI measurements of radial LV velocity and deformation were feasible with low to moderate variability in 8 LV segments. These measurements can be used for evaluating LV function in further clinical studies.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine murmur prevalence by auscultation of 105 apparently healthy Whippets without signs of cardiac disease, to determine the origin of these murmurs, and to evaluate the influence of sex, type of pedigree (ie, bred for showing or racing), and training on these murmurs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—105 client-owned Whippets.

Procedures—All dogs were auscultated by the first author and underwent a complete physical and cardiological examination, together with a hematologic assessment. Several RBC variables and echocardiographic variables were compared between dogs with or without a murmur at the level of the aortic valve.

Results—44 of 105 (41.9%) dogs had no murmur. A soft systolic murmur was present with point of maximal intensity at the level of the aortic valve in 50 (47.6%) dogs, at the level of the pulmonic valve in 8 (7.6%) dogs, and at the level of the mitral valve in 3 (2.9%) dogs. No significant differences were found in heart rate, rhythm, murmur presence, point of maximal intensity, and murmur grade between males and females, between dogs with race- and show-type pedigrees, or between dogs in training and not in training. Dogs with a murmur at the level of the aortic valve had a significantly higher aortic and pulmonic blood flow velocity and cardiac output, compared with dogs without a murmur.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Whippets have a high prevalence of soft systolic murmurs in the absence of any structural abnormalities, which fit the description of innocent murmurs. No influence of sex, pedigree type, or training was found on the occurrence of these murmurs in Whippets.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association