Transesophageal echocardiography to diagnose anomalous right coronary artery type R2A in dogs

J Vet Cardiol. 2015 Dec;17(4):262-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jvc.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Oct 28.


Objectives: To assess the feasibility of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) as an alternative to angiography for the diagnosis of R2A coronary artery (CA) abnormalities.

Animals: Twenty-two dogs with a diagnosis of type R2A CA anomaly were reviewed/analyzed.

Methods: A retrospective study of case records. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), angiography, and follow-up investigations of pulmonic stenosis (PS) with R2A CA were carried out to compare different diagnostic methods.

Results: Based on the TTE morphology, PS with an aberrant CA was suspected in all dogs (n = 22) and later confirmed by angiography in 18 cases (18/22), and necropsy in two cases (2/22). In 12 cases (12/22), TEE and angiography were both performed and confirmed the diagnosis of an R2A anomaly. Two cases (2/22) were diagnosed only with TEE.

Conclusions: Transesophageal echocardiography may be considered an effective tool to diagnose CA abnormalities, in particular when TTE is inconclusive. Transesophageal echocardiography offers detailed and easily reproducible views of coronary ostia, and the spatial relationship between the right common CA and the great arteries. Although it is not possible to define the course of the more distal coronary branches, TEE has proven reliable in recognizing those elements that can constitute a risk for the execution of a balloon valvuloplasty (BV). Therefore, TEE can be used to confirm this type of CA anomaly and prevent a BV, which is contraindicated in these cases. In addition, TEE avoids any further vascular access, radiation exposure, and contrast medium injection.

Keywords: Brachycephalic; Canine; Congenital heart disease; Pulmonic stenosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coronary Angiography / veterinary
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dogs
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal / veterinary
  • Female
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index