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December 2010

Horse: Heart, Ventricular septal defect

Detailed Information

History: Horse, 3 years.

Diagnoses: Heart: Ventricular septal defect in the membranous portion of the interventricular septum; Severe, global myocardial hypertrophy with marked dilation of both ventricles and the left atrium.

Description: The heart is enlarged to approximately twice the normal size. The membranous portion of the interventricular septum has a defect of 2 cm maximal diameter underneath the septal leaflet of the tricuspid valve and the leaflets of the aortic valve. The walls of all four chambers are notably thickened and lumina are enlarged.

Comments: The horse was euthanized due to clinical signs of cardiovascular insufficiency. Necropsy revealed generalized subcutaneous edema and striking dilation of abdominal, especially mesenterial, lymph vessels. Besides the ventricular septal defect, multifocal myocardial and also pulmonary infarctions were present.

Picture by:    Kristina Dietert, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Author:         Kristina Dietert, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany