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Safety of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography in dogs and cats: 488 cases (2002–2011)

Gabriela S. SeilerDepartment of Molecular Biomedical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695.

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James C. BrownDepartment of Molecular Biomedical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695.

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Jennifer A. ReetzDepartment of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Olivier TaeymansDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Melissa BucknoffDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

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Federica RossiClinica Veterinaria dell'Orologio, via Gramsci 1/4, 40037 Sasso Marconi, Italy.

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Stefanie OhlerthVetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

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Daniela AlderVetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

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Nathalie RademacherDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Wm. Tod DrostDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Rachel E. PollardDepartment of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

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Olga TravettiDepartment of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopedy of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.

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Pascaline PeyDepartment of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopedy of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.

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Jimmy H. SaundersDepartment of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopedy of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.

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Miriam M. ShanamanDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Cintia R. OliveiraDepartment of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

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Robert T. O'BrienDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the incidence of adverse events within 24 hours after contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in dogs and cats and compare the risk of death within 24 hours after imaging for animals that underwent ultrasonography with and without injection of a contrast agent.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—750 animals (411 case dogs, 238 control dogs, 77 case cats, and 24 control cats).

Procedures—At 11 institutions, medical records were reviewed of dogs and cats that had CEUS performed (cases) as were medical records of dogs and cats with clinical signs similar to those of case animals that had ultrasonography performed without injection of a contrast agent (controls). Information regarding signalment; preexisting disease; type, dose, and administration route of contrast agent used; immediate (within 1 hour after CEUS) and delayed (> 1 and ≤ 24 hours after CEUS) adverse events; and occurrence and cause of death (when available) was extracted from each medical record. Risk of death within 24 hours after ultrasonography was compared between case and control animals.

Results—Of the 411 case dogs, 3 had immediate adverse events (vomiting or syncope) and 1 had a delayed adverse event (vomiting). No adverse events were recorded for case cats. Twenty-three of 357 (6.4%) clinically ill case animals and 14 of 262 (5.3%) clinically ill control animals died within 24 hours after ultrasonography; risk of death did not differ between cases and controls.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that CEUS was safe in dogs and cats.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the incidence of adverse events within 24 hours after contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in dogs and cats and compare the risk of death within 24 hours after imaging for animals that underwent ultrasonography with and without injection of a contrast agent.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—750 animals (411 case dogs, 238 control dogs, 77 case cats, and 24 control cats).

Procedures—At 11 institutions, medical records were reviewed of dogs and cats that had CEUS performed (cases) as were medical records of dogs and cats with clinical signs similar to those of case animals that had ultrasonography performed without injection of a contrast agent (controls). Information regarding signalment; preexisting disease; type, dose, and administration route of contrast agent used; immediate (within 1 hour after CEUS) and delayed (> 1 and ≤ 24 hours after CEUS) adverse events; and occurrence and cause of death (when available) was extracted from each medical record. Risk of death within 24 hours after ultrasonography was compared between case and control animals.

Results—Of the 411 case dogs, 3 had immediate adverse events (vomiting or syncope) and 1 had a delayed adverse event (vomiting). No adverse events were recorded for case cats. Twenty-three of 357 (6.4%) clinically ill case animals and 14 of 262 (5.3%) clinically ill control animals died within 24 hours after ultrasonography; risk of death did not differ between cases and controls.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that CEUS was safe in dogs and cats.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part as an oral presentation at the Annual American College of Veterinary Radiology Conference, Albuquerque, October 2011.

Address correspondence to Dr. Seiler (gsseiler@ncsu.edu).