• Bernoulli;
  • Echocardiography;
  • Hypoxia;
  • Overcirculation;
  • Regurgitation;
  • Velocity

Pulmonary hypertension occurs as a primary or secondary disorder of the pulmonary vasculature. Doppler echocardiography provides a noninvasive tool for the estimation of pulmonary arterial pressure when tricuspid regurgitation or pulmonic insufficiency is present. The cardiology database at Colorado State University was reviewed, and echocardiographic records from cases diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension were evaluated. Application of the modified Bernoulli equation to the maximal instantaneous velocity of a right-sided regurgitant jet provided evidence of pulmonary hypertension in 53 dogs over a 4-year period. Tricuspid regurgitant velocity ≥ 2.8 m/second or pulmonic insufficiency velocity ≥ 2.2 m/second was considered abnormal and indicative of pulmonary hypertension. Tricuspid regurgitant gradients in 51 dogs ranged from 32 to 145 mm Hg (mean, 63.0 mm Hg; median, 57.0 mm Hg; 25th-75th percentiles, 45.2–76.5 mm Hg). Pulmonic insufficiency gradients in 8 dogs ranged from 20 to 100 mm Hg (mean, 59.5 mm Hg; median, 61.5 mm Hg; 25th-75th percentiles, 32.0–84.5 mm Hg). Affected dogs ranged in age from 2 months to 16 years. Clinical signs were characteristic of cardiopulmonary disease, but a relatively high frequency of syncope was noted (12 of 53 dogs, 23%). Pulmonary hypertension was probably due to increased pulmonary vascular resistance in 23 dogs, pulmonary overcirculation in 2 dogs, and pulmonary venous hypertension in 23 dogs. Five dogs lacked a clinically recognizable cardiopulmonary cause of pulmonary vascular disease. Our results suggest that pulmonary hypertension can occur as a complication of commonly encountered cardiopulmonary diseases, and that Doppler echocardiography can facilitate recognition of this condition.