To evaluate reproducibility of ejection fraction (EF), myocardial perfusion (MP), and pulmonary transit time (PTT) measured in a group of dogs by use of contrast echocardiography and to examine safety of this method by evaluating cardiac troponin I concentrations. ANIMALS: 6 healthy dogs. PROCEDURES: 2 bolus injections and a constant rate infusion of contrast agent were administered IV. Echocardiographic EF was determined by use of the area-length method and was calculated without and with contrast agent. The PTT and normalized PTT (PTT/mean R-R interval) were measured for each bolus. Constant rate infusion was used for global MP evaluation, and regional MP was calculated by use of a real-time method in 4 regions of interest of the left ventricle. Cardiac troponin I concentration was analyzed before and after contrast agent administration. Intraoberserver and interobserver variability was calculated. RESULTS: EF was easier to determine with the ultrasonographic contrast agent. For the first and second bolus, mean ± SD PTT was 1.8 ± 0.2 seconds and 2.1 ± 0.3 seconds and normalized PTT was 3.4 ± 0.3 seconds and 3.5 ± 0.3 seconds, respectively. A coefficient of variation < 15% was obtained for global MP but not for the regional MPs. No differences were detected between precontrast and postcontrast cardiac troponin I concentrations. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Contrast echocardiography appeared to be a repeat-able and safe technique for use in the evaluation of global MP and PTT in healthy dogs, and it improved delineation of the endocardial border in dogs.
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