Congenital Aortic Stenosis in a German Shepherd - Case Report

Iuliu SCURTU, Gavril GIURGIU, Cristian POPOVICI, Florin BETEG, Mircea MIRCEAN


Introduction Aortic stenosis is a congenital heart disorder that occurs mainly in large breed dogs. Many large breed dogs were diagnosed with this congenital heart disorder, but Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Boxer, German shepherd and Newfoundland seem to be overrepresented. Aortic stenosis may manifest itself as supravalvular, valvular and subvalvular. The subvalvular form (subaortic stenosis) is the most common form in the dog. With this defect, a fibrous band or ring located just below the aortic semilunar valves impedes left ventricular emptying.

Aims: We want to underline clinical and paraclinical abnormalities associated with this disease.

Matherials and methods: Four month old pure German shepherd female was brought for specific cardiac evaluation at our unit. Clinical investigation was performed after a specific algorithm (evaluation of precordial thrill, pulse and murmur, assessment of lung problems). Paraclinical investigations included electrocardiography and echocardiography.

Results: Clinically point of view we identified a precordial thrill on the left thorax. On auscultation we identified a systolic murmur located cranially, at the base of the heart, area which corresponds with aortic orifice location. The murmur’s grade was 6/6. Electrocardiographically we observed high amplitude of R waves with supraventricular and ventricular (bigeminy) rhythm abnormalities. On echography we underlined an increase of myocardium echogenity with hyperechoic foci, localized mainly in left ventricular free wall, decreased left ventricular chamber with thickness of interventricular septum and left ventricular free wall. Doppler echography identified a turbulent jet through aortic orifice with 5.5 m/s velocity. Based on clinical and paraclinical tests diagnostic is severe aortic stenosis.

Conclusion: Congenital aortic stenosis implies a severe diagnostic. Doppler investigation is the most important tool in aortic stenosis diagnostic.


aortic stenosis, congenital heart disease, Doppler, echocardiography

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