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Cardiac malposition (ectopia cordis) in a cat

Lopez, Melinda M., Kuzma, Alan B., Margiocco, Marco L., Cheng, Teresa, Enberg, Trevor B., Head, Laurie
Journal of veterinary emergency and critical care 2015 v.25 no.6 pp. 783-788
abdomen, cats, echocardiography, heart, heart failure, males, patients, pericardium, thoracic cavity, vena cava
OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of cardiac malposition in a cat, and the successful management of the anomaly. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 2‐year‐old male neutered male British Shorthair cat weighing 7.58 kg was referred for bicavitary effusion. Ultrasonography and echocardiography demonstrated displacement of the heart into the abdomen through a diaphragmatic defect. Clinical signs of right‐sided congestive heart failure were attributed to mechanical restriction of diastolic function by a constrictive segment of fibrous pericardium and to impaired venous return due to a kink in the caudal vena cava. Surgical repositioning of the heart into the thoracic cavity and a subtotal pericardectomy were performed, and the diaphragmatic defect was repaired. The patient recovered well postoperatively. NEW OR UNIQUE INFORMATION PROVIDED: The diagnosis and management of cardiac malposition has not been previously described in cats. With timely diagnosis and surgical intervention, a favorable outcome is possible.