The objectivity of vertebral heart scale: Comparison of detailed radiographic findings with vertebral heart scale in symptomatic dogs with cardiac failure

Authors: Sinem Ü. Saka, Onur İskefli, Mehmet E. OR and Utku Bakırel

Ger. J. Vet. Res 2022. vol. 2, Iss. 3 pp:1-7


The current study aimed to evaluate the objectivity of the vertebral heart scale in the right, left, and generalized cardiomegaly. The correlation between vertebral heart scale and cardiomegaly was determined by conventional methods using a detailed evaluation form of vertebral heart scale and main stem bronchus spine distance measurements and radiographic findings. For this reason, a detailed radiographic evaluation form, including cardiac shape alterations, tracheal displacement, the ratio of the width of the heart to the thorax, and effusive findings due to cardiac failure, was compiled to provide gradation and detection of both-sided alterations in latero-lateral and dorso-ventral view. X-rays of 189 symptomatic dogs with cardiac disorders were included in the study and evaluated by experienced staff. X-ray findings were classified as left-right and both-sided enlargement and graded as mild, moderate, or severe enlargement. Using statistical analysis, the vertebral heart scale method was found to be correlated with findings of left and generalized enlargement, and a significant difference was found between the moderate and severe class (respectively P<0.001 and P<0.000); whereas no significance was found in the group or intergroup findings in right-sided enlargements. Accordingly, apart from left-sided and generalized cardiomegaly, the vertebral heart scale measurements were found within normal limits in the dogs with right-sided enlargement. 


Canine, Cardiac Enlargement, Radiography, Vertebral heart scale


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