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Doppler-derived echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary hypertension in cats with left-sided congestive heart failure

Vezzosi, T., Schober, K.E.
Journal of veterinary cardiology 2019 v.23 pp. 58-68
cardiomyopathy, cats, color, congenital abnormalities, echocardiography, heart, heart failure, heart valve diseases, hypertension, observational studies, pulmonary artery, signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by left-sided congestive heart failure (L-CHF) is common in dogs and contributes to clinical signs and outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Doppler echocardiography–derived PH in a population of cats with L-CHF.The study involved 131 cats with L-CHF and 56 control cats.The study design is retrospective, observational study. Tricuspid regurgitation velocity, right atrial dimension, right ventricular (RV) dimension and function, RV wall thickness, pulmonary artery (PA) dimension, Doppler-derived systolic time intervals of PA flow, and presence of septal flattening were evaluated. Pulmonary hypertension was considered if tricuspid regurgitation velocity was >2.7 m/s.Tricuspid regurgitation was present in 57/131 (44%) of cats with L-CHF and 24/56 (43%) in control cats based on color flow Doppler. Doppler-derived of PH was identified in 22/131 cats with L-CHF (17%). In 15/22 cats, PH was associated with cardiomyopathy, in 5/22 cases with congenital heart disease, and in 2/22 cases with other causes. Cats with Doppler-derived PH more often had chronic L-CHF, as opposed to acute L-CHF (p<0.05). All cats with Doppler-derived PH had subjectively-assessed right-sided heart enlargement, with larger right atrial and RV diameters (p<0.001), increased RV wall thickness (p<0.05), and higher prevalence of septal flattening (<0.001) and PA enlargement (p<0.05).Pulmonary hypertension identified by Doppler echocardiography is not a common finding in cats with L-CHF. Right-sided heart enlargement, more frequently observed, may raise the suspicion of PH in cats with L-CHF.