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BACKGROUND: Two-dimensional strain measurements obtained by speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) have been reported in both humans and dogs. Incorporation of this technique into canine clinical practice requires the availability of measurements from clinically normal dogs, ideally of the same breed, taken under normal clinical conditions.The aims of this prospective study were to assess if it is possible to obtain STE data during a routine echocardiographic examination in Irish Wolfhound dogs and that these data will provide reference values and an estimation of measurement error. METHODS: Fifty- four healthy mature Irish Wolfhounds were used. These were scanned under normal clinical conditions to obtain in one session both standard echocardiographic parameters and STE data. Measurement error was determined separately in 5 healthy mature Irish Wolfhounds. RESULTS: Eight dogs were rejected by the software algorithm for reasons of image quality, resulting in a total of 46 dogs (85.2%) being included in the statistical analysis. In 46 dogs it was possible to obtain STE data from three scanning planes, as well as to measure the rotation of the left ventricle at two levels and thus calculate the torsion of the heart. The mean peak radial strain at the cardiac apex (RS-apex) was 45.1 +/- 10.4% (n = 44), and the mean peak radial strain at the base (RS-base) was 36.9 +/- 14.7% (n = 46). The mean peak circumferential strain at the apex (CS-apex) was -24.8 +/- 6.2% (n = 44), and the mean peak circumferential strain at the heart base (CS-base) was -15.9 +/- 3.2% (n = 44). The mean peak longitudinal strain (LS) was -16.2 +/- 3.0% (n = 46). The calculated mean peak torsion of the heart was 11.6 +/- 5.1 degrees (n = 45).The measurement error was 24.8%, 26.4%, 11.5%, 6.7%, 9.0% and 10 degrees, for RS-apex, RS-base, CS-apex, CS-base, LS and torsion, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that this technique can be included in a normal echocardiographic examination in large breed dogs under clinical conditions. The usefulness of the reference values reported here, given their wide normal range, will ultimately be determined by the values that are obtained from a large numbers of diseased dogs.
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Cardiology, Test method, Ventricle, Statistics, Heart, Dog breed, Irish Wolfhound, Measurement
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