VERTEBRAL HEART SCORE

Vertebral Heart Score

The Radiographic Vertebral heart score ( VHS) is commonly used in thoracic radiography to determine whether cardiomegaly is present. However, remember, there is a great breed-related variability.

In this table you can find a table with breed-associated values.

Vertebral Heart Score (VHS): Breed variations

Breed Left lateral Right lateral Dorsoventral Reference
General 9.7 ± 0.5 = 10.2 ± 1.5 Buchanan JW and Bucheler J, 1995. Buchanan JW, 2000
Puppies (months) 3m: 10.0 ± 0.5 * 10.3 ± 0.6 Sleeper M and Buchanan JW 2001
6m: 9.8 ± 0.4 * 9.7 ± 0.5
12m: 9.9 ± 0.6 * 9.8 ± 0.6
36m: 10.3 ± 0.6 * 10 ± 0.7
American Pit Bull * 10.9 ± 0.4 * Lahm MJ et al, 2011
Australian Cattle Dog 10.3± 0.5 10.5 ± 0.5 10.5± 0.6 Luciani et al, 2019
Beagle 10.2 ± 0.4 10.5 ± 0.4 * Kraetschmer S et al, 2008
Boxer * 11.6 ± 0.8 * Lamb C et al, 2001.
Boston terrier * 11.7 ± 1.4 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Bulldog (English/French) * 12.7 ± 1.7 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Chihuahua 9.9 ± 0.3 10 ± 0.6 10.4± 0.5 Pucellinni et al 2021
CKCS * 10.6 ± 0.5 * Lamb C et al, 2001
Dachshound * 9.7 ± 0.5 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Doberman * 10.0 ± 0.6 * Lamb C et al, 2001
German Shepherd * 9.7 ± 0.6 * Lamb C et al, 2001
Greyhound 10.5 ± 0.1 = * Marin LM et al, 2007
Spitz 10.03± 0.11 10.21± 0.23 Bodh et al
Labrador 10.22± 0.2 10.39± 0.19 Bodh et al
Labrador * 10.8 ± 0.6 * Lamb C et al, 2001
Lhasa Apso * 9.6 ± 0.8 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Norwich Terrier 10.6 ± 0.6 Taylor et al, 2021
Pug * 10.7 ± 0.9 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Pomerania * 10.5 ± 0.9 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Rottwailer 9.8 ± 0.1 = * Marin LM et al, 2007
Shih-Tzu * 9.5 ± 0.6 * Jepsen-Grant et al, 2013
Teckel 9.4 ± 0.5 = * Zardo KM and Provasi A, 2010
Whippet 11.0 ± 0.5 11.3 ± 0.5 10.5 ± 0.6 Bavegems V et al, 2005
Yorkshire Terrie * 9.9 ± 0.6a,b 10.0± 0.6b aJepsen-Grant et al, 2013 bCastro MG et al, 2011
* 9.7 ± 0.5 * Lamb C et al, 2001

By Patricia Sebastián & Domingo Casamián