Open Access Open Badges Research article

Repeatability, variability and reference values of pulsed wave Doppler echocardiographic measurements in healthy Saanen goats

Aurélia A Leroux1*, Frédéric Farnir2, Marie L Moonen3, Charlotte F Sandersen1, Stefan Deleuze1 and Hélène Amory1

Author Affiliations

1 Equine Clinic, Department of Companion Animals and Equids, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Boulevard de Colonster 20, Bât B41, Liege, Sart Tilman, Belgium

2 Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Animal Selection, Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Boulevard de Colonster 20, Bât B43, Liege, Sart Tilman, Belgium

3 Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Liege, Medicine Faculty, University of Liege, Avenue de l’Hôpital 13, Bât B35, Liege, Sart Tilman, Belgium

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:190  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-190

Published: 16 October 2012



Pulsed wave (PW) Doppler echocardiography has become a routine non invasive cardiac diagnostic tool in most species. However, evaluation of intracardiac blood flow requires reference values, which are poorly documented in goats. The aim of this study was to test the repeatability, the variability, and to establish the reference values of PW measurements in healthy adult Saanen goats. Using a standardised PW Doppler echocardiographic protocol, 10 healthy adult unsedated female Saanen goats were investigated three times at one day intervals by the same observer. Mitral, tricuspid, aortic and pulmonary flows were measured from a right parasternal view, and mitral and aortic flows were also measured from a left parasternal view. The difference between left and right side measurements and the intra-observer inter-day repeatability were tested and then the reference values of PW Doppler echocardiographic parameters in healthy adult female Saanen goats were established.


As documented in other species, all caprine PW Doppler parameters demonstrated a poor inter-day repeatability and a moderate variability. Tricuspid and pulmonary flows were best evaluated on the right side whereas mitral and aortic flows were best obtained on the left side, and reference values are reported for healthy adult Saanen goats.


PW Doppler echocardiography allows the measurement of intracardiac blood flow indices in goats. The reference values establishment will help interpreting these indices of cardiac function in clinical cardiac cases and developing animal models for human cardiology research.

Goat; Pulsed wave; Doppler echocardiography; Reference intervals; Repeatability; Variability