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Veterinary/zoology session

Comparison of conventional and sensor-based electronic stethoscopes in detecting cardiac murmurs of dogs
Bonnevie, Anna - graduating student
SzIE, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine
Supervisor: Károly Vörös DVM


Cardiac auscultation was performed on 21 dogs with 27 suspected murmurs by two-investigators: a final-year veterinary student (INVEST-A) and an experienced small animal clinician (INVEST-B), both using a traditional and an electronic sensor-based stethoscope. Correct diagnoses were established by echocardiography. A correct detection of presence/absence of a murmur was made by INVEST-A with a traditional stethoscope in 20 of the 27 suspected murmurs (p = 0.30, kappa = 0.2) and with electronic stethoscope in 25 of 27 suspected murmurs (p = 0.0013, kappa = 0.75). INVEST-B correctly detected the presence or absence of a murmur with traditional stethoscope in 25 of 27 suspected murmurs (p = 0.0013, kappa = 0.75) and with electronic stethoscope in all 27 cases (p = 0.00012, kappa = 1). The results of murmur intensity grading with the traditional stethoscope compared to the electronic stethoscope were highly significant both for INVEST-A (p = 6.9x10-8; kappa = 0.79) and for INVEST-B (p = 5.2x10-11; kappa = 0.92). When grading the murmurs with traditional stethoscope, there was a significant agreement between INVEST-A and INVEST-B (p = 2.9x10-7; kappa = 0.79), but it was even more significant with the electronic stethoscope (p = 1.1x10-11; kappa = 0.92). The electronic stethoscope proved to be more sensitive in detecting/excluding cardiac murmurs and during their grading compared to the traditional stethoscopes. This was especially useful for INVEST-A with less experiences. However, conventional and electronic stethoscopes can be suggested to be used simultaneously to optimally utilize their advantages.

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