Myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs is heritable, and it is therefore important to deted the early signs of the disease. This study was conduded to assess the predictive value of early echocardiographic and auscultatory signs of mitral valve prolapse, measured in terms of the leaflet thickness, the area of the regurgitant jet, and the intensity of the murmur, on the increases in left ventricular end diastolic diameter (LVEDD) and left atrial diameter (LAD) in a population of 190 clinically healthy dachshunds followed up for three years. The most significant predictor of an increase in LVEDD was the interaction between the index of mitral valve prolapse and the area of the regurgitant jet (P<0.0001). In dogs with a jet area greater than 50 per cent of the left atrium, the disease progressed more quickly in terms of increases in LVEDD in relation to the severity of the prolapse at the initial examination. In dogs with smaller jets, the initial prolapse index was not significantly associated with increases in LVEDD. The initial index of mitral valve prolapse, the area of the jet and the intensity of the heart murmur were all significant predictors of an increase in LAD.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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