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Can J Vet Res. 1993 Jul;57(3):139-45.

Comparative study of the body surface electrocardiogram in double-muscled and conventional calves.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of LiƩge, Belgium.


The purpose of this work was to study electrocardiographic features of double-muscled beef cattle. Electrocardiograms were recorded on one to six occasions from each of a group of 18 conventional calves of the Friesian breed and 29 double-muscled calves of the Belgian White and Blue breed. Ages of the calves at the times of examination ranged from eight to 348 days. The Holmes semi-orthogonal lead system was used. The waves and interval durations and the tridimensional P, QRS, and T modal vector orientation and amplitude were calculated. The magnitude of the cardiac vectors was significantly lower and the ventricular waves and QT interval duration significantly shorter in the double-muscled than in the conventional calves. The P modal vector pointed significantly less downwards and the QRS modal vector pointed significantly more forwards and less up- and rightwards in the Belgian White and Blue, than in the Friesian group. Most of the observed differences might be a consequence of the bodily, and more specifically the thoracic, conformation of the former calves. However, the lower cardiac vector magnitude and shorter wave and interval durations might also reflect lower cardiac mass in the double-muscled subjects.

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