Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Comparison between tracheal ratio methods used by three observers at three occasions in English Bulldogs

Ingman, Jessica; Naslund, Veronica; Hansson, Kerstin


Background: Tracheal hypoplasia is a congenital condition described in mainly brachycephalic breeds and is one component of the brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). Two radiographic methods have been described to evaluate the dimensions of the tracheal diameter in dogs and to distinguish between hypoplastic and non-hypoplastic tracheas: the tracheal lumen diameter to thoracic inlet distance ratio (TD/TI) and the ratio between the thoracic tracheal luminal diameter and the width of the proximal third of the third rib (TT/3R). The purpose of this study was to compare these two published radiographic methods between observers, different measuring occasions and to investigate the effect on classification of dogs as having hypoplastic or non-hypoplastic tracheas using four previously published mean ratios as cut-offs (<0.11, <0.127 and <0.144 for the TD/TI and <2.0 for the TT/3R method). Three observers evaluated right and left lateral recumbent radiographs from 56 adult English Bulldogs independently on three different occasions. TD/TI and TT/3R ratios were calculated and correlated between measuring occasions. Kappa, observed, positive, and negative agreements were calculated between observers and measuring occasions. Number of hypoplastic and non-hypoplastic dogs for each method and occasion was determined using <0.11, <0.127 and <0.144 as cut-offs for TD/TI and <2.0 for TT/3R.Results: Intraobserver agreement varied with kappa between 0.45-0.94 for the TD/TI and 0.20-0.86 for the TT/3R method. Interobserver kappa varied between 0.27-0.70 for the TD/TI method and between 0.05-0.57 for the TT/3R method. There was poor agreement in classifying English Bulldogs as tracheal hypoplastic or non-hypoplastic, depending on measuring method, cut-off value and observer.Conclusions: The diagnostic value of both the TD/TI and TT/3R methods with such poor agreement is questionable, and significantly impacts their reliability for both clinical evaluation of dogs and use in health screening programs.


Brachycephalic; Congenital; Health screening; Index; Radiography; Tracheal hypoplasia

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2014, Volume: 56