Author Archive

Time Crunch

Hi all!  Just in case you are new to the blogs I will once again give a brief introduction to my project.  I am currently doing research at the Royal “Dick” Veterinary School in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I am working with two equine cardiologists on a retrospective study of  left atrial size in horses with mitral valve disease.  The study is comparing left atrial size to the severity of mitral valve disease to determine if it can be used for prognosis of horses  with murmurs.

So, this last week I have spent many days in my dark, small measuring room trying to get through the horses as fast as possible.  I am much faster this week at measuring and have been getting through about 5-6 horses a day.  I finally finished the horses available here at the vet school today!!  I am blinded to the horses condition, they have been randomized by the number of their storage disk.  I have had to eliminate about half of the horses from the study due to poor quality images or missing views.  I have to take multiple measurements on three different views for each horse.  I look at a long axis left atrial view, long axis aorta, and short axis aorta and left atrium.  Any horses missing their short axis view were eliminated from the study and horses with poor long axis images have been noted and may have to be excluded from statistics. Continue reading


Tales from the cupboard

In case you don’t remember me since it my posts seem to be rather spread out, I’m Taryn and I am doing Equine Cardiology research in Edinburgh Scotland.  My project focuses on using left atrial size as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for determining the severity of mitral valve disease.  Last week had to be one of the most frustrating weeks I have had yet!  I spent the entire week sludging through old paper records for horses in a tiny 6×6 filing closet with no windows.  It really made me learn to appreciate the fresh air.   The problem I had run into was that I had about 50 horses that were logged into the imaging book as receiving cardio scans, but didn’t have write ups in the case notebook.  For each of these horses I had to go through the old paper files in the cabinet because of course they were prior to computer filing (meaning 2008 and earlier here ).

I was riffling through old files because I needed to find 18 horses for each of my test groups.   My study is focusing on horses with mitral valve regurgitation and grouping them based on severity of the mitral valve murmur (graded 1-6/6).   The only other defect allowed was horses that had tricuspid valve regurgitation along with the mitral valve.  Any horses with aortic insufficiency, ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects and atrial fibrillation were all excluded from the study as all of those could influence left atrial size.  Horses with av-block are being left in the study.  The next goal was to go through all the horses to separate them based on breed, only large performance horses (ie: thoroughbreds, thoroughbred crosses, Irish sport horses, and warmblood breeds)  are being used in the study.  Essentially I am excluding drafts and ponies.   Once again not every horses breed was logged on the computer, so back into my filing closet I went.

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Getting Started

Hi everyone! So I guess I’ve been behind the ball on getting this thing started so I have a lot to fill you in on. Since this is my first blog I will introduce myself first. My name is Taryn Yates and I am doing research in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Royal “Dick” School of Veterinary Studies. I am working with an equine cardiologist, Dr. Karen Blissitt, on a retrospective echocardiographic study of left atrial size in horses. The first week at work started out pretty slow, mostly reading articles to get a good background on the topic and then working with the measuring equipment and learning the basics.
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