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Retroperitoneal sarcomas in dogs: 14 cases (1992–2002)

Julius M. Liptak BVSc, MVetClinStud1,2, William S. Dernell DVM, MS, DACVS3, Eugene J. Ehrhart DVM, PhD, DACVP4, Scott A. Rizzo MS5, Matthew B. Rooney DVM, MS, DACVS6, and Stephen J. Withrow DVM, DACVS, DACVIM7
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  • 1 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Present address is Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 3 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 7 Animal Cancer Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Abstract

Objective–To describe the clinical features, surgical and histologic findings, biological behavior, and outcome of dogs with retroperitoneal sarcomas.

Design–Retrospective study.

Animals–14 dogs.

Procedures–Medical and pathology records from 1992 to 2002 of dogs with tumors originating in the retroperitoneal space were reviewed. Dogs with retroperitoneal tumors originating from the adrenal glands, kidneys, or ureters were excluded. Inclusion criteria included observation of a tumor arising from the retroperitoneal space during exploratory surgery or necropsy and histologic confirmation of tumor type. Details of clinical signs, diagnostic findings, surgical management, and outcome were determined from medical records and telephone interviews with veterinarians and owners.

Results–Retroperitoneal sarcoma was diagnosed in 14 dogs, 2 at necropsy and 12 during exploratory surgery. Hemangiosarcoma was the most common histologic diagnosis. Seven dogs had regional extension of the sarcoma into adjacent organs, and 4 dogs had metastatic disease. Grossly complete resection was possible in 6 dogs. Cytoreductive surgery or incisional biopsy was performed in the remaining dogs. Two dogs were treated with palliative radiation therapy (1 intraoperatively and 1 postoperatively). Three dogs received adjunctive chemotherapy, although none completed the targeted course because of development of local recurrence or metastatic disease. Local recurrence was reported in 2 of 12 dogs and metastasis in 10 of 14 dogs. Thirteen dogs died or were euthanatized as a result of the retroperitoneal sarcoma; 1 dog was alive and disease-free 410 days after surgery. Median survival time was 37.5 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance–In dogs, retroperitoneal sarcomas are aggressive tumors with a high rate of local recurrence and metastasis, and a poor survival time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224: 1471–1477)