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July 2012

Cat: Heart, Ostium primum atrial septal defect

History:

Cat, Chartreux, 8 weeks, male

Diagnosis:

Heart: Endocardial cushion defect with dysplasia of the right atrioventricular valves, persistence of the ostium primum and ostium secundum, right atrial dilatation and (right atrial and ventricular) hypertrophy (consistent with ostium primum atrial septal defect)

Description:

The atrial septum was discontinuous due to persistence of the ostium secundum and ostium primum. Additionally, the tricuspid valves were dysplastic thereby blending into the ostium primum. The mitral valves were thickened. The right atrium was markedly dilated and hypertrophic. The lumen of the right ventricle was narrowed.

Comments:

The kitten was presented with sudden onset of dyspnoea. Physical examination revealed a severe systolic cardiac murmur on both sides of the thorax and ultrasonic examination identified a prominent atrial septal defect and dysplastic atrioventricular valves.

In addition to the cardiac lesions the liver had mild signs of chronic congestion with incipient central vein fibrosis. According to relevant literature the endocardial cushion defect is the most common congenital heart anomaly in cats.

Picture by: Anja Ostrowski, Department of Veterinary Pathology,
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany

Author: Anja Ostrowski, Department of Veterinary Pathology,

Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany