Echocardiography, Electrocardiography, and Radiography of Cats with Dilatation Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, and Hyperthyroidism

Moise N.S., Dietze A.E., Mezza L.E., et al.

American Journal of Veterinary Research, 1986. 47(7): p.1476-86.


The echocardiographic, ECG, and radiographic findings of sequentially examined cats with dilatation cardiomyopathy (DCM, n = 7), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM, n = 8), and hyperthyroidism (HT, n = 20) were compared with those of healthy control cats (n = 11). Cats with DCM were easily differentiated from healthy cats by echocardiography and from cats with HCM and HT by a dilated left ventricle at end-diastole with a mean +/- SD of 2.20 +/- 0.36 cm, reduced fractional shortening (2.9% +/- 3.7%), reduced aortic amplitude (0.07 +/- 0.05 cm), reduced left ventricular wall amplitude (0.09 +/- 0.09 cm), and increased E-point septal separation (0.83 +/- 0.29 cm). The cats with HCM were most consistently recognized echocardiographically by increased left ventricular wall thickness at end-diastole (0.75 +/- 0.12 cm). Some cats with HT had abnormal echocardiograms with left ventricular wall hypertrophy. These cats could usually be differentiated from the cats with HCM because of normal or increased ventricular wall amplitude, aortic amplitude, or percentage of thickening of the left ventricular wall and interventricular septum. Left atrial enlargement (left atrial diameter greater than 1.57 cm or left atrium/aorta greater than 1.75) was commonly detected by the echocardiogram in cats with DCM, HCM, or HT. The echocardiogram was helpful in differentiating the type of cardiomyopathy (DCM, HCM, or HT) when plain thoracic radiographs indicated that cardiomegaly existed. The ECG may have indicated incorrectly that there was left ventricular enlargement in some cats with HT, and it did not indicate consistently that left ventricular enlargement existed when present in cats with DCM or HCM. The ECG was a poor indicator of left atrial enlargement in all cats.