Quantification of right ventricular volume in dogs: a comparative study between three-dimensional echocardiography and computed tomography with the reference method magnetic resonance imaging

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Sieslack AK, Dziallas P, Nolte I, et al.

BMC Vet Res 2014;10:242.

BackgroundRight ventricular (RV) volume and function are important diagnostic and prognostic factors in dogs with primary or secondary right-sided heart failure. The complex shape of the right ventricle and its retrosternal position make the quantification of its volume difficult. For that reason, only few studies exist, which deal with the determination of RV volume parameters. In human medicine cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) is considered to be the reference technique for RV volumetric measurement (Nat Rev Cardiol 7(10):551-563, 2010), but cardiac computed tomography (CCT) and three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) are other non-invasive methods feasible for RV volume quantification. The purpose of this study was the comparison of 3DE and CCT with CMRI, the gold standard for RV volumetric quantification.Results3DE showed significant lower and CCT significant higher right ventricular volumes than CMRI. Both techniques showed very good correlations (R inverted question mark> inverted question mark0.8) with CMRI for the volumetric parameters end-diastolic volume (EDV) and end-systolic volume (ESV). Ejection fraction (EF) and stroke volume (SV) were not different when considering CCT and CMRI, whereas 3DE showed a significant higher EF and lower SV than CMRI. The 3DE values showed excellent intra-observer variability (<3%) and still acceptable inter-observer variability (<13%).ConclusionCCT provides an accurate image quality of the right ventricle with comparable results to the reference method CMRI. CCT overestimates the RV volumes; therefore, it is not an interchangeable method, having the disadvantage as well of needing general anaesthesia. 3DE underestimated the RV-Volumes, which could be explained by the worse image resolution. The excellent correlation between the methods indicates a close relationship between 3DE and CMRI although not directly comparable. 3DE is a promising technique for RV volumetric quantification, but further studies in awake dogs and dogs with heart disease are necessary to evaluate its usefulness in veterinary cardiology.