Development and evaluation of methods for determination of vertebral heart score in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Surgery and Radiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran

2 DVM graduated student, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran

4 Department of Food hygiene and quality control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran



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 evaluated primarily 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 computerized statistical software package(SPSS) and Mann-Whitney U test to compare results.Mean and Standard deviation were also calculated. Differences between means at p≤0.05 were considered significant.According to the results the total average of VHS in lateral view by the first method was 7.8 ± 0.12, by the second method was 7.8 ± 0.16,by the third method was 7.6 ± 0.15 and the total of average of VHS in VD view was 9.2 ± 0.23.According to present research finding, gender had no meaningful effect on the measuring the heart size.More researches on the same age and the same species guinea pigs are needed for more accurate evaluation.


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 14 June 2021
  • Receive Date: 27 May 2019
  • Revise Date: 10 January 2020
  • Accept Date: 11 January 2020