Comparison of four echocardiographic methods to determine left atrial size in dogs

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OBJECTIVES: To compare a linear and three volume-based two-dimensional echocardiographic methods for measuring LA size: left atrium to aorta ratio (LA/Ao ratio), biplane area-length, biplane modified Simpson and monoplane area-length.

ANIMALS: One hundred seventy-six client-owned dogs of different breeds, 88 healthy dogs and 88 dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease of different disease severity.

METHODS: The left apical four- and two-chamber views were used to measure LA volumes. The right parasternal short-axis view at the level of the heart base was used to measure the LA/Ao ratio.

RESULTS: The biplane area-length method yielded 2.8% larger values than those of the biplane modified Simpson method, consistent across the full range of LA volumes. The monoplane area-length method derived on average 5.8% larger values of LA volume than the biplane area-length method. The difference between these two methods was most pronounced at larger LA volumes. The relation between the LA/Ao ratio and LA volume was curvilinear and with increasing LA size these two methods derived very dissimilar values.

CONCLUSIONS: All methods showed good feasibility and reproducibility, with the volume-based methods having the most favourable intra- and inter-observer variabilities. The LA/Ao ratio underestimates at higher values of LA size compared to the biplane area-length method. LA volume methods may be superior to the LA/Ao ratio in quantification of LA size. The biplane area-length method and biplane modified Simpson method can be used interchangeably. The monoplane area-length measurement may be used as a quick and reliable method for assessment of LA size in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Cardiology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)137–145
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2016

ID: 160606351