Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Echocardiography

Synonym(s): Echocardiology

Contributor(s): Kristina Hunter, Livia Benato

Introduction

  • Echocardiography is a non-invasive diagnostic technique performed to assess the cardiac function and to investigate into cardiac diseases.
  • A high-definition curvilinear probe and operator experience are necessary in order to obtain good quality images and assess the significance of any abnormal findings.
  • The use of sedation or anesthesia is highly recommended to avoid injury and stress to the rabbit as well as to prevent movement blur.

Uses

  • Assessment of cardiac function and investigation into:
  • Identification of:
  • Differentiate:
  • Long-term monitoring of cardiac disease progression.
  • Assessment prior to use of cardiotoxic medications, eg doxorubicin.
  • Monitoring of response to therapeutic intervention.

Advantages

  • Non-invasive and may be tolerated by the patient.
  • Low cost.
  • No known risk to operator or patient.
  • Allows for rapid assessment of critically ill animals.

Disadvantages

  • Sedation or general anesthesia is often required to prevent stress or injury to the rabbit.
  • Rabbit fur significantly impedes image quality, but clip areas need to be limited to avoid hypothermia.
  • Interpretation and image quality are highly dependent on operator experience.
  • Familiarity with rabbit anatomy is vital to prevent misdiagnosis as there is some variation from other common species.
  • Normal sonographic findings do not exclude cardiac pathology.
  • Abnormal sonographic findings do not always equate to presenting signs or signify disease severity.
  • Can be difficult to distinguish between diseases with similar sonographic appearance.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Turner Giannico A, Ayres Garcia D A et al (2015) Determination of normal echocardiographic, electrocardiographic, and radiographic cardiac parameters in the conscious New Zealand white rabbits. J Exot Pet Med 24 (2), 223-234 VetMedResource.
  • Casamian-Sorrosal D, Saunders R et al (2014) M-mode, two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiographic findings in 40 healthy domestic pet rabbits. J Vet Cardiol 16 (2), 101-108 PubMed.
  • Casamian-Sorrosal D, Saunders R, Browne W et al (2014) Left ventricular radial colour and longitudinal pulsed-wave tissue Doppler echocardiography in 39 healthy domestic pet rabbits. Res Vet Sci 97 (2), 376-381 PubMed.
  • Pariaut R (2009) Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of the rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 12 (1), 125-144 PubMed.
  • Stypmann J, Engelen M A, Breithardt A-K et al (2007) Doppler echocardiography and tissue Doppler Imaging in the healthy rabbit: Differences of cardiac function during awake and anaesthetised examination. Int J Cardiol 115 (2), 164-170 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Redrobe S (2013) Ultrasonography. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. 1st edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 94-106.
  • Krautwald-Junghanns M E, Pees M, Reese S & Tully T (2011) Ultrasonography. In: Diagnostic Imaging of Exotic Pets: Birds, Small Mammals, Reptiles. Schlutersche, Germany. pp 184-210. 


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