Assessment of Lung Ultrasound B-Lines in Dogs with Different Stages of Chronic Valvular Heart Disease

T Vezzosi, T Mannucci, A Pistoresi, F Toma, R Tognetti, E Zini, O Domenech, E Auriemma, S Citi
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2017, 31 (3): 700-704

BACKGROUND: In dogs with chronic valvular heart disease (CVHD), early recognition of pulmonary edema (PE) is of paramount importance. Recent studies in dogs showed that lung ultrasound examination (LUS) is a useful technique to diagnose cardiogenic PE.

OBJECTIVES: To describe LUS features in dogs with different stages of CVHD, and to determine its diagnostic accuracy in detecting PE using thoracic radiography as the reference standard.

ANIMALS: Sixty-three dogs with CVHD.

METHODS: Prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study. Each dog underwent physical examination, echocardiography, thoracic radiography, and LUS. The LUS findings were classified as absent, rare, numerous, or confluent B-lines. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of LUS B-lines to identify PE were calculated using thoracic radiography as the reference standard.

RESULTS: Dogs in stage B1 had absent or rare B-lines in 14 of 15 cases (93.3%). Dogs in stage B2 had absent or rare B-lines in 16 of 18 cases (88.9%). All dogs in stage C, without radiographic signs of PE, had absent or rare B-lines. Dogs in stage C, with radiographic signs of PE, had numerous or confluent B-lines in 18 of 20 cases (90%). Lung ultrasound examination detected PE with a sensitivity of 90%, specificity of 93%, and with positive and negative predictive values of 85.7 and 95.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Lung ultrasound examination showed good diagnostic accuracy to identify cardiogenic PE and might be helpful in staging dogs with CVHD. Lung ultrasound examination should be considered as a new, noninvasive diagnostic tool for clinicians managing CVHD in dogs.

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