|It was designed as a retrospective multi-investigator study.
Records of adult dogs Ã20 kg with myxomatous mitral valve disease were examined.
Murmur intensity and location were recorded and compared with echocardiographic variables and functional disease status.
Murmur intensities in consecutive categories were compared for prevalences of congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and cardiac remodelling.
578 dogs [107 with âsoftâ (30 Grade I/VI and 77 II/VI), 161 with âmoderateâ (Grade III/VI), 160 with âloudâ (Grade IV/VI) and 150 with âthrillingâ (Grade V/VI or VI/VI) murmurs] were studied.
No dogs with soft murmurs had congestive heart failure, and 90% had no remodelling.
However, 56% of dogs with âmoderateâ, 29% of dogs with âloudâ and 8% of dogs with âthrillingâ murmurs and subclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease also had no remodelling.
Probability of a dog having congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension increased with increasing murmur intensity.
A 4-level murmur grading scheme separated clinically meaningful outcomes in small-breed dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease.
Soft murmurs in small-breed dogs are strongly indicative of subclinical heart disease.
Thrilling murmurs are associated with more severe disease.
Other murmurs are less informative on an individual basis.
Source: Ljungvall, I., Rishniw, M., Porciello, F., Ferasin, L. and Ohad, D. G. (2014), Murmur intensity in small-breed dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease reflects disease severity. Journal of Small Animal Practice. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12265
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