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J Vet Med Sci. 2017 Oct 7;79(10):1682-1689. doi: 10.1292/jvms.17-0049. Epub 2017 Aug 28.

Diagnostic accuracy of electrocardiographic P wave related parameters in the assessment of left atrial size in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease.

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The Complutense Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Madrid Complutense University (UCM), Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


The purpose of this research was to compare the accuracy of newly described P wave-related parameters (P wave area, Macruz index and mean electrical axis) with classical P wave-related parameters (voltage and duration of P wave) for the assessment of left atrial (LA) size in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease. One hundred forty-six dogs (37 healthy control dogs and 109 dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease) were prospectively studied. Two-dimensional echocardiography examinations and a 6-lead ECG were performed prospectively in all dogs. Echocardiography parameters, including determination of the ratios LA diameter/aortic root diameter and LA area/aortic root area, were compared to P wave-related parameters: P wave area, Macruz index, mean electrical axis voltage and duration of P wave. The results showed that P wave-related parameters (classical and newly described) had low sensitivity (range=52.3 to 77%; median=60%) and low to moderate specificity (range=47.2 to 82.5%; median 56.3%) for the prediction of left atrial enlargement. The areas under the curve of P wave-related parameters were moderate to low due to poor sensitivity. In conclusion, newly P wave-related parameters do not increase the diagnostic capacity of ECG as a predictor of left atrial enlargement in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease.


P wave; dog; electrocardiography; left atrium

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