Ventricular septal defect with aortic valve insufficiency in a New Zealand white rabbit

Károly Vörös, Frauke Seehusen, Stephan Hungerbühler, Andrea Meyer-Lindenberg, Nina von der Hoeh

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A heart murmur was detected in a 10mo old, female New Zealand White rabbit. Auscultation revealed cardiac murmurs both at the left and right hemithorax. Phonocardiography confirmed the systolic-diastolic nature of the left-sided and the systolic character of the right-sided murmur. Electrocardiography showed normal sinus rhythm; tall R waves and large T waves in lead II; and deep S waves in leads II, III, and aVF. Thoracic radiography demonstrated generalized cardiomegaly with prominent pulmonary vasculature. Echocardiography revealed a perimembraneous ventricular septal defect with aortic insufficiency. Signs of biventricular volume overload, relative pulmonic stenosis, and pulmonary valve insufficiency were also seen as consequences of the defect. Necropsy demonstrated a ventricular septal defect just below the aortic valve, a dilated pulmonary trunk, dilated and hypertrophied ventricles, dilated atria, and rightward displacement of the aortic root. Cardiac histopathology showed ventricular cardiomyocyte degeneration (swelling and hypereosinophilia of the cytoplasm with a loss of cross striation, and nuclear hyperchromasia), cartilaginous metaplasia of the aorta, and subendocardial fibrosis of the right ventricular flow tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e42-e49
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals

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