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Fluoroscopic evaluation of laryngopharyngeal anatomic variations attributable to head posture in dogs

Yeunjeong Ha DVM1, Jaehwan Kim DVM, PhD1, Kyungyeon Chung DVM1, Hakyoung Yoon DVM, PhD1, and Kidong Eom DVM, PhD1
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Medical Imaging, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, South Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To fluoroscopically evaluate the effects of head posture and sedation on the laryngopharyngeal anatomic structures in dogs.

ANIMALS

6 clinically normal Beagles (mean age, 6.2 years; mean weight, 10.4 kg).

PROCEDURES

Each dog was sedated and placed in right lateral recumbency, and fluoroscopic examinations were performed with flexed, neutral, and extended head postures (FHP, NHP, and EHP, respectively). During 3 respiratory cycles, the angle between the basisphenoid bone and nasopharyngeal dorsal border (ABN), thickness of the soft palate, diameter of the nasopharyngeal lumen (DNL), overlapping length between the epiglottis and soft palate, and distance between the epiglottis and tympanic bulla (DET) were measured and percentage difference in the DNL (PDNLD) during a respiratory cycle was calculated.

RESULTS

For the FHP, NHP, and EHP, median ABN was 91.50° (interquartile range [IQR], 86.75° to 95.00°), 125.00° (IQR, 124.50° to 125.50°), and 160.00° (IQR, 160.00° to 163.50°), respectively, with no significant differences between ABN and posture angle. For the FHP, median DNL and DET significantly decreased, compared with values for the NHP, and median thickness of the soft palette significantly increased. For the EHP, the minimal DNL and DET significantly increased, and the median overlapping length between the epiglottis and soft palate significantly decreased, compared with values for the NHP. The PDNLD significantly increased and decreased with FHP and EHP, respectively, compared with the PDNLD with NHP. Sedation did not affect upper airway structure changes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that head posture significantly affected the laryngopharyngeal structures in dogs. Fluoroscopic examination of the upper respiratory tract of a dog should be performed with an NHP to minimize posture-induced changes in measurements.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To fluoroscopically evaluate the effects of head posture and sedation on the laryngopharyngeal anatomic structures in dogs.

ANIMALS

6 clinically normal Beagles (mean age, 6.2 years; mean weight, 10.4 kg).

PROCEDURES

Each dog was sedated and placed in right lateral recumbency, and fluoroscopic examinations were performed with flexed, neutral, and extended head postures (FHP, NHP, and EHP, respectively). During 3 respiratory cycles, the angle between the basisphenoid bone and nasopharyngeal dorsal border (ABN), thickness of the soft palate, diameter of the nasopharyngeal lumen (DNL), overlapping length between the epiglottis and soft palate, and distance between the epiglottis and tympanic bulla (DET) were measured and percentage difference in the DNL (PDNLD) during a respiratory cycle was calculated.

RESULTS

For the FHP, NHP, and EHP, median ABN was 91.50° (interquartile range [IQR], 86.75° to 95.00°), 125.00° (IQR, 124.50° to 125.50°), and 160.00° (IQR, 160.00° to 163.50°), respectively, with no significant differences between ABN and posture angle. For the FHP, median DNL and DET significantly decreased, compared with values for the NHP, and median thickness of the soft palette significantly increased. For the EHP, the minimal DNL and DET significantly increased, and the median overlapping length between the epiglottis and soft palate significantly decreased, compared with values for the NHP. The PDNLD significantly increased and decreased with FHP and EHP, respectively, compared with the PDNLD with NHP. Sedation did not affect upper airway structure changes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that head posture significantly affected the laryngopharyngeal structures in dogs. Fluoroscopic examination of the upper respiratory tract of a dog should be performed with an NHP to minimize posture-induced changes in measurements.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Eom (eomkd@konkuk.ac.kr).

Drs. Ha and Kim contributed equally to this study.