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Endoscopic ultrasonographic evaluation of the esophagus in healthy dogs

Penelope A. Baloi Dr med vet1, Patrick R. Kircher Prof Dr med vet2, and Peter H. Kook Dr med vet3
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  • 1 Division of Diagnostic Imaging, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 2 Division of Diagnostic Imaging, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 3 Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the ultrasonographic appearance of the canine esophagus.

Animals—14 healthy Beagles.

Procedures—Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) examinations were performed with a radial ultrasonographic gastrovideoscope in anesthetized dogs. Images were obtained at 3-cm intervals along the esophageal length to allow evaluation of the esophageal wall. Images were obtained with the probe in direct contact with the esophageal wall and with a water-filled balloon as a standoff.

Results—Images were obtained with (12 dogs) and without (10) the water-filled balloon. Median thickness of the esophageal wall was 2.19 mm (range, 1.03 to 5.62 mm) in the proximal third of the esophagus, 2.15 mm (range, 1.10 to 4.45 mm) in the middle third, and 2.84 mm (range, 1.35 to 5.92 mm) in the distal third. Wall thickness differed significantly between proximal and distal thirds. Results were similar when the water-filled balloon was used. Esophageal wall layers appeared as 5 alternating hyperechoic and hypoechoic bands that could not be consistently identified in all dogs. All layers could be identified in 26 of 198 (13%) images, 3 layers could be identified in 67 of 198 (34%) images, and 105 of 198 (53%) images had no layers. Visual identification of layers in images obtained with and without the balloon did not differ significantly.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—EUS appeared to be a useful technique for assessing esophageal wall integrity in dogs; however, complete evaluation of all layers could not be accomplished in all instances. Further studies with this technique in dogs are needed.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part as an abstract at the 2011 European Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Annual Meeting, London, September 2011.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kircher (pkircher@vetclinics.uzh.ch).