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J Vet Intern Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;20(1):78-82.

Left basilar systolic murmur in retired racing greyhounds.

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Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Nineteen of 28 (67%) Greyhounds enrolled in the Blood Donor Program at The Veterinary Teaching Hospital, The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), had a left basilar systolic murmur. Ten Greyhounds with murmurs and 9 without murmurs were evaluated to gain knowledge about the pathogenesis of this murmur. Echocardiograms were performed without sedation by means of a GE Vivid 7 Echocardiographic System with a continuous ECG; systolic arterial blood pressure (SABP) was measured with an Ultrasonic Doppler Flow detector model 811-B. The mean peak aortic velocity in the Greyhounds with murmurs (2.15 m/s; range, 1.8-2.2 m/s) was significantly higher than in the Greyhounds without murmurs (1.89 m/s; range, 1.6-2.0 m/s) (P < .001); there were no significant differences between groups for aortic valve or annulus diameter, fractional shortening, pulmonic velocity, SABP, hematocrit, serum protein concentration, or red blood cell counts. In this study, Greyhounds with soft, left basilar systolic murmurs had mildly (but significantly) higher mean peak aortic velocities than similar dogs without murmurs. In the dogs with murmurs (and higher velocities), we could not identify structural abnormalities, such as valvular lesions or other congenital defects. There was no inverse correlation between the systolic murmur and the higher hematocrit and red blood cell counts observed in this breed. This 1-2/6 basilar systolic murmur is common in Greyhounds, and it does not appear to be of any clinical consequence.

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