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Speckle tracking analysis of myocardial deformation in correlation to age in healthy horses
Heidrun Gehlen*, Lisa-Marie Bildheim
Equine Clinic, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany
Correspondence to: Tel: +49-30-83862299; Fax: +49-30-838462529; E-mail: Heidrun.Gehlen@fu-berlin.de
Received: January 22, 2018; Revised: March 13, 2018; Accepted: April 23, 2018; Published online: April 26, 2018.
An effect of aging on cardiac morphology and function has been shown in humans. In horses, cardiac wall-motion analysis has not been performed using two-dimensional speckle tracking (2D-ST) so far. Our study included 57 horses of different warmblood breeds between 3 and 30 years of age. Age had a significant influence on left ventricular (LVFW) systolic strain rate (P ≤ 0.05) and early diastolic relaxation (P ≤ 0.01). In the interventricular septum (IVS), systolic (P ≤ 0.01) and late diastolic (P ≤ 0.05) contraction velocities also increased with age. In our study, 2D-ST revealed important information on myocardial function, which were most evident in the LVFW, where measurements were highly reproducible. Aging seems to be associated with structural changes within the myocardium and decreasing contraction capacity in old animals. These physiological, age-related processes should be considered when performing wall-motion analysis of the LVFW and IVS using 2D-ST in horses.
Keywords: horse, aging, myocardium, echocardiography, speckle tracking

© 2018 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.