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20 October 2020 Radiographic Reference Intervals of the Cardiac Silhouette Width in the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Salina Locke, Daniel Johnson, Joni Shimp, Tyler J. Pridgen
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Radiograph imaging is an important diagnostic tool for assessing cardiac size in avian patients. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalis), once on the United States Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, is now a thriving species in the United States. However, there is surprisingly little information regarding bald eagle cardiac reference values obtained through radiographic imaging for use in assessment of cardiac disease in this species. This study was performed to establish reference values of cardiac size in the bald eagle. Ventrodorsal radiographic images were taken from 9 healthy birds obtained from a raptor rehabilitation facility. Cardiac silhouette width to thorax width, cardiac silhouette width to sternum width, cardiac silhouette width to hepatic silhouette width, and cardiac silhouette width to coracoid width were obtained. Ratios were calculated between the respective areas measured. The results showed that the cardiac silhouette averages 44%–52% of the thoracic width, 71%–86% of the sternal width, 94%–117% of the width of the hepatic silhouette, and 500%–920% of the coracoid width. In the individuals studied there was a strong correlation between cardiac silhouette width to thoracic and sternal width whereas cardiac width with hepatic and coracoid widths had a moderate to weak correlation respectively. The values obtained in this study can be used to radiographically assess the cardiac size of bald eagles, thus aiding in the diagnosis of cardiomegaly in this species.

© 2020 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Salina Locke, Daniel Johnson, Joni Shimp, and Tyler J. Pridgen "Radiographic Reference Intervals of the Cardiac Silhouette Width in the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 34(3), 260-267, (20 October 2020).
Published: 20 October 2020
Bald Eagle
cardiac measurements
Cardiac silhouette
Haliaeetus leucocephalis
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