Introduction/objectives: Recognition of congestive heart failure (CHF) in dyspnoeic cats is crucial for correct intervention. The pulmonary vein (PV) to pulmonary artery (PA) ratio (PV/PA) has been proposed as an index that might help discriminate dogs suffering from CHF but has never been studied in cats. We sought to determine reference intervals for various PV and PA variables in healthy cats. We then examined these variables in cats with subclinical and clinical cardiomyopathies to determine their diagnostic utility in identifying CHF.
Animals, materials and methods: We took a sample of 114 cats: 51 healthy cats, 32 subclinical cardiomyopathy affected cats and 31 cardiomyopathic cats with CHF. PV and PA were measured at the minimal and maximal diameters using M-mode images obtained from a modified right parasternal long axis view. The aorta (Ao) and left atrium were measured using two-dimensional imaging employing the right parasternal short axis view.
Results: median PVmin/PAmin value in healthy cats was approximately 0.51 and the PVmax/PAmax value was 0.67. The median distensibility value of the vessels was 23% for ΔPA and 41% for ΔPV. Cats with CHF had higher PVmin/PAmin, PVmax/PAmax, PVmin/Ao, PVmax/Ao values and a smaller ΔPV value compared to subclinical and healthy cats (p < 0.0001). When evaluating the diagnostic performance of these variables (in cardiomyopathic cats), PVmin/PAmin and PVmin/Ao values had higher accuracy compared to the LA:Ao value when identifying cats with CHF.
Conclusions: Our study provides reference values for PV and PA variables in cats. Moreover, PV/PA variables were better factors than LA:Ao for discriminating cardiomyopathic cats with and without CHF.
Keywords: Congestive heart failure; Dyspnea; Echocardiography; Feline cardiomyopathy.
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