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Use of computed tomography for evaluation of lung lesions associated with spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs: 12 cases (1999–2002)

Jennifer J. Au DVM1, Debra L. Weisman MS, DVM, DACVS2, Joseph D. Stefanacci VMD, DACVR3,4, and Matthew P. Palmisano DVM, DACVS5
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  • 1 Veterinary Referral Emergency Center, 123 W Cedar St, Norwalk, CT 06854.
  • | 2 Veterinary Referral Emergency Center, 123 W Cedar St, Norwalk, CT 06854.
  • | 3 Veterinary Referral Emergency Center, 123 W Cedar St, Norwalk, CT 06854.
  • | 4 Long Island Veterinary Specialists PLLC, 163 S Service Rd, Plainview, NY 11803.
  • | 5 Veterinary Referral Emergency Center, 123 W Cedar St, Norwalk, CT 06854.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate use of computed tomography (CT) of the lungs, compared with conventional radiography, for detection of blebs and bullae associated with spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—12 dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information was collected that included signalment, body weight, initial owner complaint, laboratory findings, radiographic findings, CT findings, medical and surgical treatment, histologic findings, complications, duration of hospitalization, and final outcome.

Results—Radiographs were excellent for identifying pneumothorax (sensitivity, 100%) but poor for identifying the underlying cause (bullae or blebs); these were identified in radiographs of only 2 of 12 dogs. Computed tomography allowed identification of bullae or blebs in 9 of 12 dogs. Ten of the 12 dogs were treated via surgery, and 17 affected lung lobes were identified. Four of the 17 affected lobes were identified via radiography. Thirteen of the 17 affected lobes were identified via CT; however, 1 lobe was incorrectly identified as the right caudal lobe instead of the right cranial lobe.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that CT is better than radiography for identifying the underlying causes of spontaneous pneumothorax.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate use of computed tomography (CT) of the lungs, compared with conventional radiography, for detection of blebs and bullae associated with spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—12 dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information was collected that included signalment, body weight, initial owner complaint, laboratory findings, radiographic findings, CT findings, medical and surgical treatment, histologic findings, complications, duration of hospitalization, and final outcome.

Results—Radiographs were excellent for identifying pneumothorax (sensitivity, 100%) but poor for identifying the underlying cause (bullae or blebs); these were identified in radiographs of only 2 of 12 dogs. Computed tomography allowed identification of bullae or blebs in 9 of 12 dogs. Ten of the 12 dogs were treated via surgery, and 17 affected lung lobes were identified. Four of the 17 affected lobes were identified via radiography. Thirteen of the 17 affected lobes were identified via CT; however, 1 lobe was incorrectly identified as the right caudal lobe instead of the right cranial lobe.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that CT is better than radiography for identifying the underlying causes of spontaneous pneumothorax.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Au's present address is the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, 4474 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4474.

Dr. Au.