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Detection of subclinical left ventricular dysfunction by tissue Doppler imaging in horses with aortic regurgitation

Ven, S., Decloedt, A., De Clercq, D., Vera, L., Rademakers, F., van Loon, G.
Equine veterinary journal 2018 v.50 no.5 pp. 587-593
case-control studies, deformation, echocardiography, heart valve diseases, horses, image analysis, immunologic factors, nutritional status, prognosis
BACKGROUND: Aortic regurgitation (AR) can have an important clinical impact and in some cases leads to left ventricular (LV) failure. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) is an echocardiographic technique that has been used in horses to detect LV dysfunction. OBJECTIVES: To examine whether TDI detects changes in radial myocardial wall motion in horses with AR compared with control horses. STUDY DESIGN: Case–control study. METHODS: Echocardiography was performed in 30 healthy Warmblood horses and 34 Warmblood horses with AR, subdivided in groups with mild, moderate or severe AR. TDI measurements were performed on six segments of the short‐axis images of the LV myocardial wall. Myocardial wall motion was evaluated by measuring velocity and deformation during isovolumetric contraction, systole, early and late diastole. Timing of different events was also measured. RESULTS: In most segments, a significantly higher systolic myocardial velocity was found in horses with AR compared with controls. Horses with AR also had higher late diastolic velocity, although the difference was not significant in all segments. TDI measurement of timing intervals demonstrated less difference between groups. MAIN LIMITATIONS: There was a significant difference in age between the control group and horses with AR, which may confound the results. The assessment of AR severity was based on subjective criteria as there is no gold standard. CONCLUSIONS: TDI showed significant differences in radial systolic and late diastolic myocardial velocity in horses with AR. This could indicate an altered LV function in these horses, but further research is needed to investigate the prognostic value of these measurements.