There are many respiratory diseases that have been linked with a serious condition called pulmonary hypertension (PH) which is defined as high blood pressure within the blood vessels in the lungs. Traditionally PH is diagnosed using an echocardiogram, a specialized ultrasound of the heart; however, access to an echocardiogram is not always available. Additionally, echocardiograms do not provide information about respiratory disease. To better define underlying respiratory disorders and to help differentiate them from other cardiac and vascular disease, an advanced imaging modality called computed tomography (CT) of the chest is used. We are evaluating the utility of using a newer CT technique, cardiac-gated CT angiography, to diagnose PH in dogs presenting with respiratory tract signs while simultaneously providing more information about the underlying respiratory disease. If the CT provides accurate information with respect to whether PH is present, this will allow more appropriate treatment in future patients where PH would have been otherwise missed.
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