Results of ambulatory electrocardiography in overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers with echocardiographic abnormalities

Clay A. Calvert Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Gilbert Jacobs Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Cynthia W. Pickus Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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David D. Smith Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Abstract

Objective—To identify, by means of 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography, electrocardiographic abnormalities in overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers in which results of echocardiography were abnormal.

Design—Clinical case series.

Animals—56 (35 male, 21 female) overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers with echocardiographic evidence of cardiomyopathy on initial examination that subsequently died of cardiomyopathy.

Procedure—Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic (Holter) recordings obtained at the time of initial examination were reviewed. For all dogs, scan quality was > 90%.

Results—Initial Holter recordings of all 56 dogs contained ventricular premature contractions (VPC). Thirty-six (65%) dogs had > 1,000 VPC/24 h, 17 (31%) had > 5,000 VPC/24 h, and 11 (19%) had > 10,000 VPC/24 h. Fifty-four (96%) dogs had couplets of VPC, 37 (66%) had triplets of VPC, and 36 (64%) had episodes of nonsustained (< 30 seconds) ventricular tachycardia. Number of VPC/24 h during the initial Holter recordings was positively correlated with numbers of couplets and triplets of VPC and number of ventricular escape beats and negatively correlated with left ventricular fractional shortening. Twentyeight dogs died suddenly prior to the putative onset of congestive heart failure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that along with echocardiography, 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography can be used to help identify overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers with cardiomyopathy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217: 1328–1332)

Abstract

Objective—To identify, by means of 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography, electrocardiographic abnormalities in overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers in which results of echocardiography were abnormal.

Design—Clinical case series.

Animals—56 (35 male, 21 female) overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers with echocardiographic evidence of cardiomyopathy on initial examination that subsequently died of cardiomyopathy.

Procedure—Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic (Holter) recordings obtained at the time of initial examination were reviewed. For all dogs, scan quality was > 90%.

Results—Initial Holter recordings of all 56 dogs contained ventricular premature contractions (VPC). Thirty-six (65%) dogs had > 1,000 VPC/24 h, 17 (31%) had > 5,000 VPC/24 h, and 11 (19%) had > 10,000 VPC/24 h. Fifty-four (96%) dogs had couplets of VPC, 37 (66%) had triplets of VPC, and 36 (64%) had episodes of nonsustained (< 30 seconds) ventricular tachycardia. Number of VPC/24 h during the initial Holter recordings was positively correlated with numbers of couplets and triplets of VPC and number of ventricular escape beats and negatively correlated with left ventricular fractional shortening. Twentyeight dogs died suddenly prior to the putative onset of congestive heart failure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that along with echocardiography, 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography can be used to help identify overtly healthy Doberman Pinschers with cardiomyopathy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217: 1328–1332)

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