Cardiomyopathies have been increasingly noted in the captive population of Livingstone's fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii). The aim of this study was to produce a set of repeatable quantitative reference measurements that could be used to assess the cardiac size during radiographic examination of this species. Ventro-dorsal and lateral radiographs (n = 129) from a total of 42 individual Livingstone's fruit bats were examined. The control group radiographs (n = 102) consisted of 34 healthy individuals. Radiographic measurements were taken of structures within the thorax and then converted into ratios. These ratios from radiographs (n = 27) were also calculated for eight individuals with diagnosed cardiomyopathy. Vertebral Heart Scores (VHS) were calculated from right lateral radiographs and compared between the two groups. From all the data, only the width of the cardiac silhouette to the width of the thorax (the W : T ratio) in the ventro-dorsal view and the VHS were found to be significantly different between both groups (P < 0.05). The group with cardiomyopathies had a mean W : T ratio of 0.59 (±0.005) and a VHS of 9.77 (±0.89), while a mean W : T ratio of 0.54 (±0.004) and a VHS of 8.71 (±0.93) was established for healthy specimens.
Livingstone's fruit bat
vertebral heart score