Development and evaluation of methods for vertebral heart score determination in guinea pig (Cavia porcellus).
Cardiac problems are highly fetal diseases among exotic animals, not only in the rabbit which is prone to such diseases but also in the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus). In rodents, imaging studies such as thoracic radiography are more practical and easier to perform than echocardiography. Cardiac size is primarily evaluated using vertebral heart size (VHS) as reported in ferrets and rabbits. We therefore attempted to determine standard cardiac dimensions in the guinea pig by thoracic radiography using VHS. The purpose of this research was getting an indicator of the normal range of male and female, mature and apparently healthy guinea pigs heart. Standard radiographs of the thorax in lateral and ventro-dorsal (VD) views were taken and interpreted. In our study to determine VHS in VD view conventional method was used. In addition to conventional VHS method, two other measurement methods were performed in lateral view. Statistical analyses were performed with a SPSS Software and Mann-Whitney U test to compare results. Mean and standard deviation were also calculated. According to the results, the total average of VHS in lateral view by the first method was 7.80 ± 0.12, by the second method was 7.80 ± 0.16, by the third method was 7.60 ± 0.15 and the total of average of VHS in VD view was 9.20 ± 0.23. According to present research findings, gender had no meaningful effect on the measuring of the heart size. More researches on the same age and the same species guinea pigs are needed for more accurate evaluation.