Measurement of Heart Size in the New Zealand White Rabbit by Cardiothoracic Ratio

Aim: In small animal practise, radiographic assessment of the heart and other thoracic structures is critical for staging a patient with a suspected cardiac abnormality, deciding on therapy protocols, and monitoring disease progression or response to treatment. For objective assessment of heart size, a variety of procedures and measurement techniques have been developed. The goal of this study was to provide a value for radiographic heart size assessment in the New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit using the cardiothoracic ratio (CTR). The heart size of rabbits was measured using dorsoventral projections. Materials and Methods: The study involved ten healthy NZW rabbits. In each of the animals, a dorsoventral (DV) thoracic radiograph was taken. The 10 rabbits’ cardiac and thoracic diameters were measured in radiographs to establish a CTR reference value in normal NZW rabbits.

CTR was 0.54 0.01 with a mean plus or minus standard error of mean (MSEM). CTR values for males (0.54 0.01) and females (0.54 0.01) did not differ significantly (p0.05). There was no link between gender and CTR.

Conclusion: In clinical practise, using CTR to examine the heart radiographically is both objective and simple.

Author (S) Details

R. O. Ukaha
Department of Veterinary Surgery & Theriogenology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.

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