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Evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic usefulness of abdominal ultrasonography in dogs with clinical signs of acute pancreatitis

Eleonora Gori DVM, PhD1, Alessio Pierini DVM, PhD1, Ilaria Lippi DVM, PhD1, Simonetta Citi DVM, PhD1, Tommaso Mannucci DVM, PhD1, and Veronica Marchetti DVM, PhD1
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  • 1 From the Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To report abdominal ultrasonography (AUS) findings in dogs with clinical signs of acute pancreatitis (AP) during the first 2 days of hospitalization and to compare AUS findings with severity of disease and mortality rate.

ANIMALS

37 client-owned dogs with clinical signs of AP.

PROCEDURES

Dogs suspected of having AP with complete medical records, AUS examinations performed throughout the first 2 days of hospitalization, and available frozen surplus serum samples for quantitative measurement of canine pancreatic lipase (cPL) concentrations at hospital admission met the criteria for study inclusion. Dogs were grouped as AUS+ or AUS− on the basis of positive or negative findings for AP on AUS, respectively. Abdominal ultra-sonography findings of AP were stratified (as mild, moderate, or severe) by use of an AUS severity index, and a canine acute pancreatitis severity score was calculated.

RESULTS

24 of 37 (64.8%) dogs had AUS findings of AP at hospital admission, whereas 10 had positive findings for AP on AUS within 2 days of hospitalization. Three (8%) dogs were AUS− but had serum cPL concentrations > 400 µg/L (ie, values considered diagnostic for AP). On the AUS severity index, 5 of 34 (14.7%) AUS+ dogs had mild findings, 18 (52.9%) AUS+ dogs had moderate findings, and 11 (32.4%) AUS+ dogs had severe findings. Severe findings were associated with a higher risk of death than mild and moderate findings. A significant association was found between canine acute pancreatitis severity scores and mortality rates.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For dogs with clinical signs of AP, repeated AUS examinations during hospitalization should be performed, severe findings on the AUS severity index may indicate an increased risk of death, and serum cPL concentrations may increase earlier than findings on AUS of AP.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To report abdominal ultrasonography (AUS) findings in dogs with clinical signs of acute pancreatitis (AP) during the first 2 days of hospitalization and to compare AUS findings with severity of disease and mortality rate.

ANIMALS

37 client-owned dogs with clinical signs of AP.

PROCEDURES

Dogs suspected of having AP with complete medical records, AUS examinations performed throughout the first 2 days of hospitalization, and available frozen surplus serum samples for quantitative measurement of canine pancreatic lipase (cPL) concentrations at hospital admission met the criteria for study inclusion. Dogs were grouped as AUS+ or AUS− on the basis of positive or negative findings for AP on AUS, respectively. Abdominal ultra-sonography findings of AP were stratified (as mild, moderate, or severe) by use of an AUS severity index, and a canine acute pancreatitis severity score was calculated.

RESULTS

24 of 37 (64.8%) dogs had AUS findings of AP at hospital admission, whereas 10 had positive findings for AP on AUS within 2 days of hospitalization. Three (8%) dogs were AUS− but had serum cPL concentrations > 400 µg/L (ie, values considered diagnostic for AP). On the AUS severity index, 5 of 34 (14.7%) AUS+ dogs had mild findings, 18 (52.9%) AUS+ dogs had moderate findings, and 11 (32.4%) AUS+ dogs had severe findings. Severe findings were associated with a higher risk of death than mild and moderate findings. A significant association was found between canine acute pancreatitis severity scores and mortality rates.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For dogs with clinical signs of AP, repeated AUS examinations during hospitalization should be performed, severe findings on the AUS severity index may indicate an increased risk of death, and serum cPL concentrations may increase earlier than findings on AUS of AP.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Pierini (pierini.alessio2004@gmail.com).