Article ID: 19-0240
Left atrial enlargement (LAE) is a well-known negative prognostic factor in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). Left atrial-to-aortic root ratio (LA/Ao) is the most commonly used method to evaluate left atrial (LA) size in dogs, while the left atrial anteroposterior diameter (LAD) has been proposed as an additional measurement of LA size in different species. The aim of this study was to establish a normal reference range of LAD normalized to body weight (LADn) in dogs using allometric scales, and to evaluate the agreement between LADn and LA/Ao in the detection of LAE in dogs with MMVD. This was a retrospective, multicenter, observational study. We included 330 healthy dogs, 30 dogs with MMVD in ACVIM stage B1, 30 dogs in ACVIM stage B2, and 30 dogs in ACVIM stage C. The reference range for the LAD, depending on body weight, was between 16.91 mm and 49.68 mm. The reference range for the LADn in healthy dogs was between 10.49 and 15.72. LADn was significantly greater in dogs with MMVD compared to healthy dogs, and a significant difference in LADn was noted between different ACVIM stages (P<0.001). The most accurate cut-off value of LADn to differentiate between dogs in groups B2 and C was 20.3 (sensitivity, 83.3%; specificity, 83.3%). There was a misclassification rate of 37% between LADn and LA/Ao in the detection of LAE in group B1. This study provides a normal reference range for LAD in dogs, which can be used as an additional tool to assess LAE in dogs with MMVD.