Main content area

Electrocardiography‐gated cardiac CT angiography can differentiate brachycephalic dogs with and without pulmonary valve stenosis and findings differ from transthoracic echocardiography

To, Ada, Hostnik, Eric T., Rhinehart, Jaylyn D., Scansen, Brian A.
Veterinary radiology & ultrasound 2019 v.60 no.2 pp. 145-158
angiography, aorta, dog breeds, dogs, echocardiography, heart abnormalities
Pulmonary valve stenosis (PS) is one of the most commonly diagnosed congenital heart defects in dogs. Currently, transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the standard modality used to evaluate PS. Image acquisition by TTE can be challenging in some brachycephalic breeds of dogs. The use of echocardiographic‐gated CT angiography (ECG‐gated CTA) in veterinary medicine is limited. This retrospective method comparison study investigated right and left ventricular outflow diameters by sedated ECG‐gated CTA and unsedated TTE in 14 brachycephalic dogs with PS and 12 brachycephalic dogs without PS. Measurements of ventricular outflow structures were made in early systole and end diastole for both modalities and then compared for significance between systolic and diastolic phases, as well as between the two modalities. Ratios of the pulmonary trunk diameter to the aorta at different locations (aortic valve, aortic annulus, and ascending aorta) and in different planes (transverse, sagittal) were compared between dogs with PS and without PS, as well as within dogs, by both TTE and ECG‐gated CTA. Transthoracic echocardiography and ECG‐gated CTA both detected significantly greater pulmonary trunk to aorta ratios in dogs with PS at all aortic locations (P < 0.05). Pulmonary valve to aortic valve ratios were significantly smaller in dogs with PS (P < 0.05). Pulmonary trunk to aorta and pulmonary valve to aorta ratios were achieved with good anatomic detail using ECG‐gated CTA. Ratios of the pulmonary trunk and pulmonary valve relative to the aorta may be useful to evaluate for PS using a modality that is underutilized for cardiac assessment.