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Prospective echocardiographic and tissue Doppler screening of a large Sphynx cat population: Reference ranges, heart disease prevalence and genetic aspects

Valerie Chetboul, Amandine Petit, Vassiliki Gouni, Emilie Trehiou-Sechi, Charlotte Misbach, David Balouka, Carolina Carlos Sampedrano, Jean-Louis Pouchelon, Renaud Tissier, Marie Abitbol
Journal of veterinary cardiology 2012 v.14 no.4 pp. 497-509
adults, body weight, cardiomyopathy, cats, clinical examination, disease prevalence, echocardiography, heart, image analysis, inheritance (genetics), pedigree, penetrance, prospective studies, screening
OBJECTIVES: (1) To investigate heart morphology and function using echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), (2) to determine heart disease prevalence and characteristics, and (3) to assess potential genetic features in a population of Sphynx cats presented for cardiovascular screening. ANIMALS: A total of 147 echocardiographic examinations, including 33 follow-ups, were performed by trained observers on 114 Sphynx cats of different ages (2.62 ± 1.93 years [0.5–10.0]) from 2004 to 2011. METHODS: Sphynx cats underwent a physical examination, conventional echocardiography, and, if possible, two-dimensional color TDI. RESULTS: Conventional echocardiographic findings included 75/114 normal (65.8%) and 39/114 (34.2%) abnormal examinations with a diagnosis of either congenital heart diseases (n = 16) or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM, n = 23). In adult healthy cats, a significant body weight effect was observed for several echocardiographic variables, including end-diastolic left ventricular (LV) free wall (P < 0.01), interventricular septum (P < 0.001), and LV diameter (P < 0.001). Mitral valve dysplasia (MVD) was observed as a single or associated defect in 15/16 cats with congenital heart diseases. A significant increase in HCM prevalence (P < 0.001) was observed according to age. The pedigree analysis of a large family (n = 81) suggested an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance with incomplete penetrance for HCM. CONCLUSIONS: Body weight should be taken into account when interpreting values of diastolic myocardial wall thicknesses in Sphynx cats. Additionally, HCM and MVD are two relatively common heart diseases in this feline breed. More pedigree data are required to confirm the inheritance pattern of HCM at the breed level.