• doppler;
  • echocardiography;
  • small animal

In normal dogs and dogs with subaortic stenosis, it is known that the subcostal transducer site provides higher left ventricular ejection velocities than does the left apical site. We hypothesized that aortic flow velocities could also be obtained from the right parasternal long-axis view, optimized for the placement of the Doppler cursor as parallel as possible into the aortic root. In 15 healthy dogs and 13 healthy cats, high-pulsed repetition frequency Doppler flow velocity measurements in the proximal aorta were performed using two-dimensional echocardiographic guidance. The mean [±standard error of the mean (SEM)] peak aortic flow velocities in healthy dogs were as follows: subcostal site 1.46±0.05 m/s; apical site 1.12±0.06 m/s; right parasternal long-axis site 1.09±0.05 m/s. In healthy cats, the following peak aortic flow velocities were observed: apical site 0.87±0.03 m/s; right parasternal long-axis site 0.87±0.03 m/s. Aortic flow velocities obtained from the subcostal site were significantly higher in healthy dogs than those obtained from the left apical and right parasternal long-axis site (P<0.001). There was no statistical difference between the peak aortic flow velocities obtained from right parasternal long-axis and left apical transducer position in all groups. We conclude therefore that right parasternal long-axis and left apical-derived aortic flow velocities are similar and may be used interchangeably in healthy dogs and cats.