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Cardiac lymphoma and pericardial effusion in dogs: 12 cases (1994–2004)

John M. MacGregor DVM1,2, Maria L. E. Faria DVM, PhD3,4, Antony S. Moore MVSc, DACVIM5,6, Anthony H. Tobias BVSc, PhD, DACVIM7, Donald J. Brown VMD, PhD, DACVIM8, and Helio S. A. de Morais DVM, PhD, DACVIM9,10
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Present address is Dover Veterinary Hospital, 96 Durham Rd, Dover, NH 03820.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil, 86051-990.
  • | 4 Present address is Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 6 Present address is Veterinary Oncology Consultants, 379 Lake Innes Dr, Wauchope, NSW 2446 Australia.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 8 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 9 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil, 86051-990.
  • | 10 Present address is Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical characteristics and clinicopathologic findings, including results of pericardial fluid analysis, and determine the outcome associated with pericardial effusion caused by cardiac lymphoma in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—12 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of affected dogs were reviewed for echocardiographic findings, radiographic findings, results of pericardial fluid analysis, clinicopathologic findings, treatment protocols, and outcomes.

Results—Pericardial effusion was detected by echocardiography in all 12 dogs, and lymphoma was detected by cytologic examination of the effusion (11/12 dogs) or histologic examination of pericardium (3/12). Large-breed dogs were overrepresented; median weight was 40.5 kg (89.1 lb). Most hematologic and biochemical changes were mild and nonspecific. Survival time for dogs treated with combination chemotherapeutic agents was 157 days and for dogs that did not receive chemotherapy survival time was 22 days. This difference was not significant, but several dogs had long-term survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac lymphoma is an uncommon cause of pericardial effusion, and results suggest that cardiac lymphoma does not always warrant the poor prognosis of other stage V, substage b lymphomas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 227:1449–1453)

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical characteristics and clinicopathologic findings, including results of pericardial fluid analysis, and determine the outcome associated with pericardial effusion caused by cardiac lymphoma in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—12 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of affected dogs were reviewed for echocardiographic findings, radiographic findings, results of pericardial fluid analysis, clinicopathologic findings, treatment protocols, and outcomes.

Results—Pericardial effusion was detected by echocardiography in all 12 dogs, and lymphoma was detected by cytologic examination of the effusion (11/12 dogs) or histologic examination of pericardium (3/12). Large-breed dogs were overrepresented; median weight was 40.5 kg (89.1 lb). Most hematologic and biochemical changes were mild and nonspecific. Survival time for dogs treated with combination chemotherapeutic agents was 157 days and for dogs that did not receive chemotherapy survival time was 22 days. This difference was not significant, but several dogs had long-term survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cardiac lymphoma is an uncommon cause of pericardial effusion, and results suggest that cardiac lymphoma does not always warrant the poor prognosis of other stage V, substage b lymphomas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 227:1449–1453)