Open Access Effects of Birth Season, Breed, Sex, and Sire Family on Cardiac Morphology Determined in Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) by Use of Echocardiography

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Abstract:

Purpose: Echocardiography played an important role in the screening and diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In the study reported here, we attempted to evaluate the effects of birth season, breed, sex, and sire family on cardiac morphology determined in pigs by use of echocardiography.

Methods: A total of 411 pigs (mean body weight and age of 105.7 ± 10.6 kg and 214.4 ± 25.5 days, respectively) with different genetic backgrounds (Landrace, Yorkshire, and their two-way crossbred) were studied. Cardiac morphologic measurements included thickness of left ventricle and interventricular septum at end-systolic and end-diastolic phases. Meanwhile, the statistical model included the following effects: birth season, breed, sex, interaction between breed and sex, sire family, body weight, and age.

Results: Mean cardiac morphologic measurements were as follows: thickness of the interventricular septum at endsystolic and end-diastolic phases was 1.74 and 1.14 cm, respectively; and thickness of the left ventricular free wall at end-systolic and end-diastolic phases was 1.81 and 0.98 cm, respectively. Medium positive correlations existed among the cardiac morphologic measurements r = 0.31 to 0.53; P < 0.001). Pigs born in spring had significantly ( P < 0.05) lower cardiac thickness at the end systolic phase than did pigs born in other seasons, and Landrace pigs had higher cardiac morphologic measurements than did Yorkshire and two-way crossbred pigs. Additionally, thickness of interventricular septum at the end-diastolic phase in male pigs was significantly higher than that in female pigs (P < 0.05). Cardiac morphologic measurements for the sire family were significantly (P < 0.05) different, and contributed 77.2 to 87.9% of the total variation, suggesting that genetic variation in cardiac morphology might exist in pigs.

Conclusions: Cardiac morphology of pigs might be influenced by genetic background. The effects of birth season, breed, sire family, and sex should be adjusted when using pigs as an animal model for comparative cardiovascular studies.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Cardiovascular Research Center, Department of Comparative Medicine, Pig Research Institute Taiwan, Republic of China 2: Department of Animal Resources, Pig Research Institute Taiwan, Republic of China

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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