Echocardiographic Findings in 103 Cats with Hyperthyroidism

Bond B.R., Fox P.R., Peterson M.E., et al.

J Am Vet Med Assoc, 1988. 192(11): p.1546-9.


Using M-mode echocardiography, cardiac abnormalities were studied in 103 cats with untreated hyperthyroidism. In addition, follow-up echocardiography was performed on 24 of these cats to assess the long-term (4 to 21 months) effect of treatment (thyroidectomy or radioiodine) on thyrotoxic cardiac disease. The most common echocardiographic abnormality in the 103 untreated hyperthyroid cats was hypertrophy of the left ventricular caudal wall (71.9%). Hypertrophy of the interventricular septum also was documented in 39.8% of the 103 cats. Other abnormalities included high values for left atrial diameter (70.0%), aortic root diameter (18.5%), and left ventricular diameter at end diastole (45.6%). In some of these cats, indices of contractility were enhanced; in 21.4% and 14.6% of the cats, values for shortening fraction and velocity of circumferential fiber shortening, respectively, were greater than those values measured in clinically normal cats. After treatment of the hyperthyroidism, left ventricular hypertrophy resolved or improved in many of the cats, as indicated by decreases in left ventricular caudal wall and interventricular septum thicknesses. Hyperdynamic wall motion resolved in all cats after treatment, as evidenced by consistent decreases in shortening fraction and velocity of circumferential fiber shortening. Despite these improvements, some cats had one or more persistently abnormal echocardiographic values after treatment. These results suggested that in cats, hyperthyroidism commonly is associated with largely reversible cardiomyopathy. In those cats in which cardiomyopathy persists or worsens after treatment, underlying primary cardiomyopathy or thyroid hormone-induced cardiac structural damage may exist.