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Clinical findings in dogs with incidental adrenal gland lesions determined by ultrasonography: 151 cases (2007–2010)

Audrey K. CookDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Kathy A. SpauldingDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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John F. EdwardsDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of and clinical features associated with incidental adrenal gland lesions (IAGLs) discovered during abdominal ultrasonography in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—151 dogs with an IAGL and 400 control dogs.

Procedures—Reports of ultrasonographic examinations of the abdomen of dogs performed during a 3.5-year period were reviewed. Adrenal glands were classified as having an IAGL if a nodule or mass was described or the width of either gland was ≥ 10 mm. For dogs with an IAGL, information regarding signalment, concurrent disorders, and outcome was obtained from the medical record. Findings were compared with those in a control population of 400 dogs examined during the same period.

Results—An IAGL was detected in 151 of 3,748 (4%) dogs. Dogs with an IAGL were significantly older (median age, 11.25 years) and heavier (median body weight, 21 kg [46.2 lb]) than the control population (median age, 9.5 years; median body weight, 14 kg [30.8 lb]). Malignant tumors were reported in 6 of 20 (30%) dogs that underwent adrenal glandectomy or necropsy and had a maximum IAGL dimension that ranged from 20 to 46 mm; benign lesions all had a maximum dimension < 20 mm. Various coincidental conditions were reported in dogs with an IAGL, including nonadrenal gland malignant neoplasia in 43 (28.5%) dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IAGLs were more likely in dogs ≥ 9 years of age. On the basis of this small data set, malignancy should be suspected for IAGLs ≥ 20 mm in maximum dimension.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of and clinical features associated with incidental adrenal gland lesions (IAGLs) discovered during abdominal ultrasonography in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—151 dogs with an IAGL and 400 control dogs.

Procedures—Reports of ultrasonographic examinations of the abdomen of dogs performed during a 3.5-year period were reviewed. Adrenal glands were classified as having an IAGL if a nodule or mass was described or the width of either gland was ≥ 10 mm. For dogs with an IAGL, information regarding signalment, concurrent disorders, and outcome was obtained from the medical record. Findings were compared with those in a control population of 400 dogs examined during the same period.

Results—An IAGL was detected in 151 of 3,748 (4%) dogs. Dogs with an IAGL were significantly older (median age, 11.25 years) and heavier (median body weight, 21 kg [46.2 lb]) than the control population (median age, 9.5 years; median body weight, 14 kg [30.8 lb]). Malignant tumors were reported in 6 of 20 (30%) dogs that underwent adrenal glandectomy or necropsy and had a maximum IAGL dimension that ranged from 20 to 46 mm; benign lesions all had a maximum dimension < 20 mm. Various coincidental conditions were reported in dogs with an IAGL, including nonadrenal gland malignant neoplasia in 43 (28.5%) dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—IAGLs were more likely in dogs ≥ 9 years of age. On the basis of this small data set, malignancy should be suspected for IAGLs ≥ 20 mm in maximum dimension.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the Annual Congress of the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Liverpool, England, September 2013.

Address correspondence to Dr. Cook (akcook@cvm.tamu.edu).