Objective—To determine left ventricular free wall (LVFW) radial and longitudinal myocardial contraction velocities in healthy dogs via quantitative 2-dimensional color tissue Doppler imaging (TDI).
Procedure—TDI was used by a single trained observer to measure radial and longitudinal myocardial movement in the LVFW. Radial myocardial velocities were recorded in segments in the endocardial and epicardial layers of the LVFW, and longitudinal velocities were recorded in segments at 3 levels (basal, middle, apical) of the LVFW.
Results—LVFW velocities were higher in the endocardial layers than in the epicardial layers. Left ventricular free wall velocities were higher in the basal segments than in the middle and apical segments. Radial myocardial velocity gradients, defined as the difference between endocardial and epicardial velocities, were (mean ± SD) 2.5 ± 0.8 cm/s, 3.8 ± 1.5 cm/s, and 2.3 ± 0.9 cm/s in systole, early diastole, and late diastole, respectively. Longitudinal myocardial velocity gradients, defined as the difference between basal and apical velocities, were 5.9 ± 2.2 cm/s, 6.9 ± 2.5 cm/s, and 4.9 ± 1.7 cm/s in systole, early diastole, and late diastole, respectively. A breed effect was detected for several systolic and diastolic TDI variables. In all segments, systolic velocities were independent of fractional shortening.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—LVFW myocardial velocities decreased from the endocardium to the epicardium and from base to apex, thus revealing intramyocardial radial and longitudinal velocity gradients. These indices could enhance conventional echocardiographic analysis of left ventricular function in dogs. Breed-specific reference intervals should be defined. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:953–961)