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Echocardiographic parameters in 14 healthy English Bull Terriers

O'Leary, C.A., Mackay, B.M., Taplin, R.H. and Atwell, R.B. (2003) Echocardiographic parameters in 14 healthy English Bull Terriers. Australian Veterinary Journal, 81 (9). pp. 535-542.

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Objective To determine the range of various cardiac parameters using echocardiography in apparently normal, healthy English Bull Terriers.

Design Fourteen English Bull Terriers were selected for study. Cardiac auscultation of the parents of these dogs was normal. Echocardiographic examination of one parent of each animal showed: no mitral or aortic valve abnormalities; no myocardial lesions; no two dimensional evidence of fixed or dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction; and no systolic aortic or left ventricular outflow tract turbulence on colour flow Doppler examination. The 14 selected dogs did not have arrhythmias or murmurs, and on echocardiographic examination had similar findings to their parents. Systolic blood pressure was measured in all dogs and they had no clinical evidence of Bull Terrier polycystic kidney disease or Bull Terrier hereditary nephritis.

Procedure All dogs were auscultated and subjected to a sequential global echocardiographic assessment of the heart, including two dimensional long and short axis, and colour flow Doppler interrogation of the mitral and aortic valves. Dimensional measurements, including those from the left atrium, aortic annulus and left ventricle, were taken from a right parasternal window, and derived values such as fractional shortening, stroke volume and left atrial to aortic annulus ratio were calculated. Peak systolic aortic velocity was measured from the left parasternal window using two dimensional-guided pulsed wave Doppler with angle correction. Systolic blood pressure was measured using a Doppler monitor. The absence of Bull Terrier polycystic kidney disease was determined using renal ultrasonography, and of Bull Terrier hereditary nephritis using urinary protein to creatinine ratio.

Results These 14 dogs had greater left ventricular wall thickness and smaller aortic root diameters than those reported as normal for other breeds of comparable body size. Left atrial dimensions were also larger, however this may have been due to the “maximising’ method of measurement. These apparently normal English Bull Terriers also had higher aortic velocities than those reported for other breeds, possibly due to a smaller aortic root diameter or other anatomic substrate of the left ventricular outflow tract, lower systemic vascular resistance, or breed-specific “normal’ left ventricular hypertrophy. While these dogs were selected to be as close to normal as possible, the breed may have a particular anatomy that produces abnormal left ventricular echocardiographic parameters.

Conclusion These echocardiographic parameters may be used to diagnose left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and left ventricular hypertrophy, and inaccurate diagnoses may result if breed-specific values are not used.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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