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Two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiography in 22 conscious and apparently healthy pet guinea pigs

De Silva, M., Mihailovic, A., Baron Toaldo, M.
Journal of veterinary cardiology 2020 v.27 pp. 54-61
body weight, echocardiography, females, heart rate, males, pets
The objective of this study was to report normal echocardiographic values in healthy guinea pigs.Twenty-two privately owned, apparently healthy, conscious guinea pigs underwent complete transthoracic echocardiography. Left ventricular (LV), right ventricular, left atrial, and aortic root dimensions were measured, as were forward flow velocities across the mitral, aortic, and pulmonic valves. The effects of age, body weight, sex, and heart rate on these variables were also investigated.The median age (interquartile range) was 3.0 (1.8–4.0) years with a body weight of 902 (822–998) grams. Echocardiography was feasible in all conscious animals. Early and late diastolic transmitral flow waves were summated in 17 of 22 individuals. In the remaining five animals, the two waves were reversed (E wave-to-A wave velocity less than 1.0). A positive correlation was detected between body weight and LV internal diameter at end-diastole and end-systole and left atrial diameter (P < 0.05). Heart rate was negatively correlated with LV internal diameter at end-systole (r = −0.463, P = 0.035). Age was positively correlated with LV posterior wall thickness at end-diastole and aortic diameter (P < 0.05). LV internal diameter at end-systole was larger in males than in females (P = 0.012), while fractional shortening was lower (P = 0.008).Descriptive echocardiography ranges in apparently healthy awake guinea pigs have been provided and can be used for cardiac assessment in these pet animals.