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VERTEBRAL HEART SIZE RANGES SPECIFIC FOR WHIPPETS

Authors

  • Valérie Bavegems,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium,
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  • Annemie Van Caelenberg,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium,
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  • Luc Duchateau,

    1. Department of Physiology, Biochemistry and Biometrics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • Stanislas U. Sys,

    1. Department of Physiology, Biochemistry and Biometrics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • Henri Van Bree,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium,
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  • André De Rick

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Biology of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium,
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Valérie Bavegems, at the above address. E-mail: valerie.bavegems@UGent.be

Abstract

To assess the influence of breed, breeding lines, and training on heart size, the vertebral heart size (VHS) was evaluated on left-to-right lateral, right-to-left lateral, dorsoventral, and ventrodorsal thoracic radiographs from 44 whippets free from cardiac and pulmonary disease. In lateral views, the VHS was 11.0±0.5 vertebrae (mean±SD) on right-to-left lateral and 11.3±0.5 vertebrae on left-to-right lateral radiographs, being larger than the 9.7±0.5 vertebrae proposed by Buchanan (P<0.0001). The VHS on left-to-right lateral views was larger than on right-to-left lateral views (P<0.0001). The VHS was 10.5±0.6 vertebrae on dorsoventral radiographs and 11.1±0.6 vertebrae on ventrodorsal radiographs. Both values were larger than the 10.2±1.5 vertebrae (dorsoventral) (P<0.0082) or 10.2±0.8 vertebrae (ventrodorsal) (P<0.0001) proposed by Buchanan. In addition, the VHS on ventrodorsal views was larger than on dorsoventral views (P<0.0001). Dogs out of racing pedigree lines had a significantly larger VHS than those out of show pedigree lines, and trained dogs had a significantly larger VHS than nontrained dogs. Because most trained dogs came out of racing pedigree lines, and all nontrained dogs came out of show pedigree lines, however, it is difficult to determine whether the higher VHS for trained dogs is due to genetic influences or training, or both. In conclusion, it is important to take into account the breed and the radiographic view when evaluating heart size in thoracic radiographs of whippets to avoid overinterpretation of cardiac enlargement in these dogs.

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