OBJECTIVE To investigate systemic changes following low-dosage prednisolone administration in dogs.
ANIMALS 4 healthy purpose-bred adult male Beagles.
PROCEDURES Dogs were administered prednisolone PO at a dosage of 2 mg/kg/d for 2 weeks, 1 mg/kg/d for 4 weeks, and 0.5 mg/kg/d for 3 weeks. Body weight, blood pressure, hepatic size and echogenicity, percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes, serum hepatic enzyme activities and glucose concentration, adrenal gland size, and pancreatic echogenicity were evaluated weekly for 9 weeks.
RESULTS The only significant change identified was an increase in hepatic echogenicity, assessed by measuring liver-kidney contrast on ultrasonographic images. Increases in hepatic size and percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes were identified, but values did not differ from baseline values. Similarly, serum hepatic enzyme activities increased, but changes were mild and not significantly different from baseline values. Body weight, pancreatic echogenicity, and serum glucose concentration did not show noticeable changes. Mild systemic hypertension was seen, but blood pressure was not significantly different from the baseline value. Similarly, adrenal gland size steadily decreased during the first 6 weeks and increased again after the prednisolone dosage was decreased to 0.5 mg/kg/d. However, mean adrenal gland size was not significantly different from the baseline value at any time.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that in dogs, administration of prednisolone at a low dosage was associated with minimal systemic effects.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of position, time in that position, and positive end-expiratory pressure on ground-glass opacity caused by physiologic atelectasis on lung CT images and to determine effects of recumbency position before CT.
ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles.
PROCEDURES In a crossover study, dogs were placed in 4 positions (sternal, dorsal, right lateral, and left lateral recumbency) for 2 holding times (30 and 60 minutes). Dogs were then repositioned in sternal recumbency, and CT was performed at 2 positive end-expiratory pressures (0 and 15 mm Hg). Location, distribution, and degree of ground-glass opacities were evaluated on lung CT images. Volume and mean density of the lungs and ground-glass opacities as well as maximum density of ground-glass opacities were evaluated.
RESULTS Ground-glass opacities were mainly observed in parts of the lungs that were dependent during the various positions before CT, except for sternal recumbency. Opacities were reversible and decreased or disappeared after lung inflation. Ground-glass opacities were observed most frequently and had greatest severity when dogs were positioned in left lateral recumbency before CT. Ground-glass opacities were negligible for dogs positioned in sternal recumbency before CT.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Location and reversibility of ground-glass opacities may help clinicians distinguish whether they are attributable to atelectasis or a result of pathological changes. Dogs should be positioned in sternal recumbency to minimize the occurrence of ground-glass opacities, particularly when several procedures are performed before CT, which increases the time that a dog will remain in the same position.
OBJECTIVE To investigate the effects of respiratory phase, body position, beam center location, and gastric distention on radiographic assessment of liver size in dogs.
ANIMALS 12 Beagles.
PROCEDURES Liver length and the ratio of liver length to T11 length were determined on lateral radiographic views obtained with various techniques. Images were acquired at maximal expiration or maximal inspiration, with dogs in right or left recumbency, with the beam centered on the caudal border of the scapula or the 13th rib, and after food was withheld or with gastric distention. Effects on organs adjacent to the liver were assessed with CT. Changes of the thoracic cavity during the respiratory cycle were investigated with fluoroscopy.
RESULTS Liver length was significantly greater on radiographs obtained at maximal expiration than at maximal inspiration, but there was no increase in the ratio of liver length to T11 length. Body position, beam center location, and gastric distention did not significantly affect liver size. For CT, location of the spleen and stomach and location or size of the liver did not change markedly between right and left recumbency. Fluoroscopy revealed that thoracic width was less at maximal expiration than maximal inspiration.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Liver length was greater at maximal expiration than at maximal inspiration because of a smaller thoracic width. Body position, beam center location, and gastric distention did not affect liver length. The ratio of liver length to T11 length was not significantly affected by any of the factors investigated.
To evaluate effects of airway pressure on contrast enhancement and diameter of the pulmonary artery and determine the optimal airway pressure for pulmonary CT angiography in dogs.
8 healthy Beagles.
Thoracic CT was performed at end-expiration (0 cm H2O) and 2 positive-pressure end-inspirations (10 and 20 cm H2O). Attenuation curves of enhancement for the sinus of the pulmonary trunk artery were obtained by use of a bolus technique. Contrast medium (300 mg of I/kg) was administered IV, and CT imaging began at the time of peak enhancement. At each pressure, time to peak enhancement, ratio of blood flow from the caudal vena cava to the right side of the heart (KCdVC), and enhancement characteristics and diameter changes of the pulmonary artery were evaluated.
All dogs had a significant delay for time to peak enhancement in the sinus of the pulmonary trunk artery as airway pressure increased. The KCdVC progressively increased as airway pressure increased, and there was low contrast enhancement and increased pulmonary artery filling defects at 20 cm H2O. All pulmonary arteries had marked increases in diameter as pressure increased. Arterial distensibility in the gravity-dependent cranial lung region was greater than that in the gravity-independent caudal lung region at the 2 positive-pressure end-inspirations.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Airway pressure affected time to peak enhancement, KCdVC, contrast enhancement, and pulmonary artery diameter. Results suggested that 10 cm H2O could be an optimal pressure for evaluation of the pulmonary artery of dogs by use of CT angiography. (Am J Vet Res 2019;80;756–763)
To assess effects of catheter diameter and injection rate of flush solution (saline [0.9% NaCl] solution) on renal contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) with perfluorobutane in dogs.
5 healthy Beagles.
CEUS of the kidneys was performed by IV injection of contrast medium (0.0125 mL/kg) followed by injection of 5 mL of saline solution at rates of 1, 3, and 5 mL/s through a 20-gauge or 24-gauge catheter; thus, CEUS was repeated 3 times for each catheter diameter. Time-intensity curves were created for regions of interest drawn in the renal cortex and medulla. Repeatability was determined by calculating the coefficient of variation (CV). Statistical analysis was used to assess whether perfusion variables or CV of the perfusion variables was associated with catheter diameter or injection rate.
Perfusion variables did not differ significantly between catheter diameters. Time to peak enhancement (TTP) in the renal cortex was affected by injection rate, and there were significantly lower values for TTP at higher injection rates. The CEUS variables with the lowest CVs among injection rates were TTP for the renal cortex; the CV for TTP of the renal cortex was the lowest at an injection rate of 5 mL/s.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Use of a 24-gauge catheter did not alter CEUS with perfluorobutane; therefore, such catheters could be used for CEUS of the kidneys of small dogs. Moreover, a rate of 5 mL/s is recommended for injection of flush solution to obtain greater accuracy for renal CEUS in Beagles.
To investigate the diagnostic usefulness of split-bolus CT enterography in dogs.
6 healthy Beagles.
CT enterography was performed in all dogs in a nonrandomized crossover study design involving 3 techniques: a dual-phase technique and 2 techniques involving splitting of the administered contrast agent dose (ie, split technique and split-bolus tracking technique). For the 2 techniques involving dose splitting (ie, split CT enterography), contrast agent was injected twice, with the first injection consisting of 60% of the total dose, followed by injection of the remaining 40%. Then, a single set of CT images was obtained when the arterial and venous phases matched (dual-phase and split techniques) or when enhancement of the abdominal aorta reached 100 HU (split-bolus tracking technique). Enhancement of the intestinal wall and mesenteric vessels was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.
The total number of images required for interpretation was significantly lower for the split technique than for the dual-phase technique. The amount of time needed to complete CT enterography was significantly less for the split-bolus tracking technique than for the other 2 techniques. For all 3 techniques, adequate contrast enhancement of the mesenteric vessels and intestinal wall was achieved. The split technique provided contrast enhancement of the intestinal wall and mesenteric vessels similar to that provided with the dual-phase technique, whereas contrast enhancement of these structures was lowest for the split-bolus tracking technique.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Split-bolus CT enterography at a contrast agent allocation ratio of 60:40 enabled simultaneous evaluation of the enhanced intestine wall and mesenteric vessels and yielded image quality similar to that of dual-phase CT enterography in healthy dogs.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate contrast agents for their ability to improve visualization of the colon wall and lumen during CT and ultrasonography.
ANIMALS 10 healthy adult Beagles.
PROCEDURES Food was withheld from dogs for 36 hours, after which dogs consumed 250 mL of polyethylene glycol solution. Dogs were then anesthetized, a contrast agent (tap water, diluted barium, or air; order randomly assigned) was administered rectally, iodine contrast medium (880 mg of I/kg) was administered IV, and CT and ultrasonography of the colon were performed. After a 1-week washout period, this process was repeated with a different contrast agent until all agents had been evaluated. Two investigators reviewed the CT and ultrasonographic images for colon wall thickness, conspicuity, artifacts, wall layering, and degree of lumen dilation at 4 sites.
RESULTS Thickness of the colon wall was greatest in CT and ultrasonographic images with water used as contrast agent, followed by barium and then air. The CT images obtained after water administration had a smooth appearance that outlined the colonic mucosa and had the highest score of the 3 contrast agents for wall conspicuity. Although no substantial artifacts related to any of the contrast agents were identified on CT images, barium- and gas-induced shadowing and reverberation artifacts hindered wall evaluation during ultrasonography. For ultrasonography, the degree of conspicuity was highest with barium in the near-field wall and with water in the far-field wall. In contrast to CT, ultrasonography could be used to distinguish wall layering, and the mucosal and muscular layers were distinct with all contrast agents.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of water as a contrast agent for both CT and ultrasonography of the colon in dogs compensated for each imaging modality's disadvantages and could be beneficial in the diagnosis of colon disease.
To evaluate pulmonary vein (PV)-to-pulmonary artery (PA) ratios obtained in healthy dogs by means of various CT protocols, accounting for the effects of the respiratory phase and contrast agent used.
10 healthy Beagles.
Before and after contrast medium (600 mg iodine/kg) was injected IV, thoracic CT was performed with a positive-pressure breath-hold (inspiratory phase) and at the end of expiration (expiratory phase). After CT scanning, echocardiography was performed, and an optimized right parasternal long-axis view was obtained for measurement of PV and PA diameters. The PV and PA diameters were measured subsequently for each CT protocol.
Mean ± SD PV:PA values obtained from pre- and postcontrast inspiratory CT were 1.058 ± 0.072 and 1.020 ± 0.053, respectively, which were comparable to the echocardiographic value (P > .05). Mean PV:PA values obtained with pre- and postcontrast expiratory CT were 1.259 ± 0.094 and 1.239 ± 0.066, respectively, which were significantly (P = .005) greater than inspiratory CT measurements. There was a significant (r > 0.5, P < .05) linear relationship between PV:PA values obtained with pre- and postcontrast inspiratory CT and echocardiography.
PV:PA could be measured with thoracic CT in a manner similar to that for echocardiography. However, PV:PA values measured with expiratory CT were different from previously reported values. Therefore, the respiratory phase should be considered when evaluating pulmonary vascular size through CT, and measurements with the inspiratory CT protocol would be more accurate.
To investigate radiographic variables for correlation with splenic size as estimated with CT in cats.
38 healthy adult cats.
The width and height of the splenic head and total length, segmental length, and width of the spleen were measured on radiographic and CT images obtained from 10 cats in prospective, exploratory experiments. Distance between the splenic head and left kidney, anatomic locations of the head and tail of the spleen, and CT-derived splenic volume were also assessed. Correlation and agreement between radiographic and CT measurements and interobserver agreement for measurements with each method were determined. A retrospective evaluation of radiographs obtained without sedation or anesthesia for 28 cats was performed to establish preliminary guidelines for the measurement deemed the most reliable estimator of splenic size.
Radiographic measurements of total and segmental splenic length were significantly correlated with the respective CT measurements and with splenic volume. Agreement between radiographic and CT measurements of segmental length was good; interobserver agreement was excellent for all variables. In retrospective evaluations, median segmental length of the spleen was 57.87 mm (range, 34.72 to 105.44 mm) on radiographs; the caudal border of the splenic head on lateral views was located from the cranial part of L1 to the caudal part of L2, and the caudal border of the splenic tail on ventrodorsal views was located from the caudal part of L2 to the caudal part of L5.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that segmental length of the spleen on radiographs is a reliable estimator of splenic size in healthy cats.
To assess the usefulness of magnetic resonance urography (MRU) for the visualization of nondilated renal pelvises and ureters in dogs and to compare our findings for MRU versus CT urography (CTU).
9 healthy Beagles.
Dogs underwent CTU, static-fluid MRU, and excretory MRU, with ≥ 7 days between procedures. Contrast medium was administered IV during CTU and excretory MRU, whereas urine in the urinary tract was an intrinsic contrast medium for static-fluid MRU. For each procedure, furosemide (1 mg/kg, IV) was administered, and reconstructed dorsal plane images were acquired 3 minutes (n = 2) and 7 minutes (2) later. Images were scored for visualization of those structures and for image quality, diameters of renal pelvises and ureters were measured, and results were compared across imaging techniques.
Excretory MRU and CTU allowed good visualization of the renal pelvises and ureters, whereas static-fluid MRU provided lower visualization of the ureters. Distention of the renal pelvises and ureters was good in excretory MRU and CTU. Distention of the ureters in static-fluid MRU was insufficient compared with that in CTU and excretory MRU. Distinct artifacts were not observed in CTU and excretory MRU images. Static-fluid MRU images had several mild motion artifacts.
Our findings indicated that excretory MRU with furosemide administration was useful for visualizing nondilated renal pelvises and ureters of dogs in the present study. When performing MRU for the evaluation of dogs without urinary tract dilation, excretory MRU may be more suitable than static-fluid MRU.