Left atrial enlargement (LAE) is an important diagnostic factor in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). It is associated with the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF). Recently, a new radiographic left atrial measurement called vertebral left atrial size (VLAS) was introduced. This can be considered as a left atrial enlargement above 2.3. It appears to be related to the severity of MMVD. However, serial changes in VLAS in relation to disease progression and improvement in patients have yet to be studied. This study aims to assess the value of VLAS as a left atrial size monitoring indicator by examining correlations with VHS, LA/Ao ratio and LVIDDN, and comparing serial changes in dogs. A total of 126 dogs were studied with their owners’ consent. The dogs were classified into four MMVD groups (Control, B1, B2, C-D) following the ACVIM Guideline by performing a physical examination, radiography and echocardiography. Besides, 24 and 17 dogs were reevaluated to compare values in relation to the progression and improvement of MMVD. VLAS showed significant increase according to the progress of the MMVD stage. This was the same in the Maltese breed group. A strong positive correlation was found between LVIDDN, VHS, LA/Ao ratio, and VLAS. The results of this study found VLAS to be significantly different according to left atrium size, and there was a correlation between disease progression and VLAS levels in each dog. Therefore, VLAS may be used to detect changes in left atrium size as an additional monitoring index of MMVD.
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