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Morphometric evaluation of the portal vein by means of abdominal computed tomographic angiography in dogs free of vascular anomalies

Matteo Rossanese DVM1, Amy Ferreira BVSc2, and Thomas W. Maddox , DVSc, PhD3
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  • 1 Small Animal Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Neston, CH64 7TE, England.
  • | 2 Small Animal Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Neston, CH64 7TE, England.
  • | 3 Small Animal Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Neston, CH64 7TE, England.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the mean diameter of the main portal vein (PV) in healthy dogs by use of CT angiography, identify any associations between PV diameter and certain dog characteristics, and validate a clinically valuable ratio for quantifying the size of the PV.

ANIMALS 100 dogs with no hepatic, cardiac, or vascular anomalies that underwent abdominal CT angiography.

PROCEDURES Diameters of the main PV, abdominal aorta (Ao), and caudal vena cava (CVC) were measured by 2 observers at a defined location on postcontrast CT angiographic images in axial, sagittal, and transverse planes. Dog characteristics were evaluated for associations with PV diameter, and a PV:Ao diameter ratio was calculated. Intraclass correlations were calculated to assess intra- and interobserver agreement in vessel diameter measurements.

RESULTS Mean diameter values were 7.9 mm (range, 4.1 to 14.8 mm) for the PV, 8.9 mm (range, 3.7 to 13.7 mm) for the Ao, and 11.4 mm (range, 4.4 to 22.5 mm) for the CVC. The PV:Ao diameter ratio was 0.91 mm. The PV diameter was significantly associated with dog body weight but not with dog age, sex, or neuter status. Intra- and interobserver reliabilities for measurements of all 3 vessels were considered excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.85).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings indicated that the PV:Ao diameter ratio was a repeatable measurement that may be useful for evaluating the size of the portal vasculature in dogs and possibly for distinguishing healthy PVs from abnormal PVs in dogs with hepatic vascular anomalies.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the mean diameter of the main portal vein (PV) in healthy dogs by use of CT angiography, identify any associations between PV diameter and certain dog characteristics, and validate a clinically valuable ratio for quantifying the size of the PV.

ANIMALS 100 dogs with no hepatic, cardiac, or vascular anomalies that underwent abdominal CT angiography.

PROCEDURES Diameters of the main PV, abdominal aorta (Ao), and caudal vena cava (CVC) were measured by 2 observers at a defined location on postcontrast CT angiographic images in axial, sagittal, and transverse planes. Dog characteristics were evaluated for associations with PV diameter, and a PV:Ao diameter ratio was calculated. Intraclass correlations were calculated to assess intra- and interobserver agreement in vessel diameter measurements.

RESULTS Mean diameter values were 7.9 mm (range, 4.1 to 14.8 mm) for the PV, 8.9 mm (range, 3.7 to 13.7 mm) for the Ao, and 11.4 mm (range, 4.4 to 22.5 mm) for the CVC. The PV:Ao diameter ratio was 0.91 mm. The PV diameter was significantly associated with dog body weight but not with dog age, sex, or neuter status. Intra- and interobserver reliabilities for measurements of all 3 vessels were considered excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.85).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings indicated that the PV:Ao diameter ratio was a repeatable measurement that may be useful for evaluating the size of the portal vasculature in dogs and possibly for distinguishing healthy PVs from abnormal PVs in dogs with hepatic vascular anomalies.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Rossanese (matteo.rossanese@gmail.com).