Comparison of fluoroscopic cardiovascular measurements from healthy dogs obtained at end-diastole and end-systole

C. S. Brown, L. R. Johnson, L. C. Visser, J. C. Chan, R. E. Pollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Quantitative measurements are commonly implemented to objectively evaluate heart size in dogs. However, recent studies suggest that the phase of cardiac cycle can impact vertebral heart score, thereby potentially influencing clinical management. This study used fluoroscopy to assess the impact of the cardiac cycle on quantitative cardiovascular measurements in healthy dogs of various breeds. Animals, materials, and methods: This was a prospective study. Multiple cardiac and respiratory cycles were recorded fluoroscopically. Peak inspiratory end-systole and end-diastole frames were captured from 49 dogs in right lateral recumbency. Vertebral heart score (VHS), cardiothoracic ratio (CTR), vertebral left atrial size (VLAS), and caudal vena cava diameter ratio (CVCDR) measurements were performed. Mean cardiac measurements were compared between cardiac cycle phases, and the impact of body condition score (BCS), weight, thoracic conformation, sex, and age was evaluated. Results: Cardiac cycle had a significant impact on VHS (mean difference: 0.36 ± 0.14 vertebral units between systole and diastole; p < 0.001) and CTR (mean difference: 2.2 ± 1.2% between systole and diastole; p < 0.001). Cardiac cycle had no significant impact on VLAS or CVCDR. Increasing BCS significantly increased variation between systole and diastole in CTR measurements (p = 0.024). Conclusions: The cardiac cycle has a significant effect on VHS and CTR but does not impact VLAS or CVCDR. These findings should be taken into consideration during clinical use of these measurements, especially if a patient is being monitored for cardiac changes over time via serial radiographs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Cardiology
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Atrial size
  • Cardiothoracic
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Heart score
  • Imaging
  • Quantitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • veterinary(all)


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