Quadricuspid aortic valve and a ventricular septal defect in a horse

BMC Vet Res. 2014 Jun 30:10:142. doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-10-142.


Background: Quadricuspid aortic valve (QAV) and ventricular septal defect (VSD) are congenital heart defects and have been described in both human and veterinary medical literature.

Case presentation: A 5-year-old half-bred bay stallion was referred for surgical castration. Cardiac murmurs were heard on the presurgical clinical examination and the cardiac examination revealed subcutaneous oedema, tachycardia with a precodrial thrill and a grade 5/6 pansystolic murmur, which was heard on auscultation of the right and left side of the chest. Examination of the B-mode echocardiograms revealed the presence of a QAV (one small cusp, two equal-sized cusps, and one large cusp) and VSD in the membranous portion of the intraventricular septum. These two congenital cardiac defects were accompanied by mild aortic valve regurgitation and severe tricuspid regurgitation. Despite the presence of these cardiac defects, the horse underwent surgical castration under general anesthesia. Surgery, anaesthesia and recovery from anaesthesia were uneventful. The gelding was euthanasied after 17 months because of a progressive loss of body weight, weakness and recumbency.

Conclusion: A QAV in combination with VSD in a horse is an interesting finding, because to the best of our knowledge, this has not been previously described in equine literature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortic Valve / pathology
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / veterinary*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / pathology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / veterinary*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / veterinary*
  • Horse Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Horse Diseases / pathology
  • Horses
  • Male