Echocardiographic changes in heart size in hypohydrated horses

Underwood, C, Norton, JL, Dallap-Schaer, BL, Boston, R and Slack, J (2011) Echocardiographic changes in heart size in hypohydrated horses. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25 2: 563-569. doi:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0612.x

Author Underwood, C
Norton, JL
Dallap-Schaer, BL
Boston, R
Slack, J
Title Echocardiographic changes in heart size in hypohydrated horses
Journal name Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0891-6640
Publication date 2011-03
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0612.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 25
Issue 2
Start page 563
End page 569
Total pages 7
Place of publication United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Hypohydration causes transient echocardiographic changes in pigs, dogs, humans, and  cats. These changes mask the diagnosis of some cardiac diseases (valvular regurgitation, dilated cardiomyopathy) and promote the diagnosis of others (hypertropic cardiomyopathy and infiltrative disease), thus inhibiting accurate echocardiographic evaluation.


To describe the echocardiographic changes associated with hypohydration in normal horses.


Ten adult horses without detectable cardiac disease.


Experimental study. Echocardiographic examinations were performed on horses in the euhydrated and hypohydrated states. Horses were hypohydrated by combined water deprivation and furosemide administration until a 4–7% reduction in bodyweight was achieved. Statistical analyses were performed by paired t-tests.

Hypohydration decreased left ventricular internal diameter in systole (0.8 0.6 cm) and diastole (1.7 0.9 cm), left atrial diameter (1.5 0.4 cm) and left ventricular volume (490 251 mL) (P-values o.01), and increased septal wall thickness in diastole (0.6 0.3 cm), free wall thickness in diastole (0.5 0.3 cm), mean wall thickness (0.5 0.2 cm) and relative wall thickness (0.2 0.1 cm) (P-values o .01).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance:

Hypohydration produces changes in left ventricular and atrial size that could mask or promote the severity of cardiac disease. The thickened, ‘‘pseudohypertrophied’’ appearance of the left ventricle in hypohydrated horses could affect interpretation of echocardiographic variables that are applied to the prediction of athletic performance. Echocardiography may prove a noninvasive method of monitoring volume status and response to fluid therapy in hypovolemic horses.
Keyword Cardiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 12 OCT 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 16:47:53 EST by Miss Claire Underwood on behalf of School of Veterinary Science