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Does Heart Size Affect Equine Athletic Performance?

Introduced in human medicine in 1953 by Inge Edler and Hellmuth Hertz, echocardiography is ultrasonography (ultrasound technology) that displays images of the heart. Adapted to equine medicine, over the last 30 years echocardiography has become a routine method to diagnose, manage, or maintain horses where a cardiac condition or disease is suspected or discovered. Although this technique offers a plethora of information such as the shape and size of the organ, its ability to pump blood and if any tissue damage is present, an echocardiograph also supplies veterinarians with other extensive data. It can aid in estimating how the heart is performing through measurements such as cardiac output, how many times the heart beats per minute, and if any structural defects exist such as a leaking valve, abnormal chamber or wall size, or abnormal contractile activity, among other abnormalities. With the echocardiograph providing such a wealth of information in regards…

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