Objective—To determine the feasibility of quantitative contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) for detection of changes in renal blood flow in dogs before and after hydrocortisone administration.
Procedure—Dogs were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups: oral administration of hydrocortisone (9.6 mg/kg; n = 6) or a placebo (5; control group) twice a day for 4 months, after which the dose was tapered until treatment cessation at 6 months. Before treatment began and at 1, 4, and 6 months after, CEUS of the left kidney was performed by IV injection of ultrasonography microbubbles. Images were digitized, and time-intensity curves were generated from regions of interest in the renal cortex and medulla. Changes in blood flow were determined as measured via contrast agent (baseline [background] intensity, peak ntensity, area under the curve, arrival time of contrast agent, time-to-peak intensity, and speed of contrast agent transport).
Results—Significant increases in peak intensity, compared with that in control dogs, were observed in the renal cortex and medulla of hydrocortisone-treated dogs 1 and 4 months after treatment began. Baseline intensity changed similarly. A significant increase from control values was also apparent in area under the curve for the renal cortex 4 months after hydrocortisone treatment began and in the renal medulla 1 and 4 months after treatment began. A significant time effect with typical time course was observed, corresponding with the period during which hydrocortisone was administered. No difference was evident in the other variables between treated and control dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Quantitative CEUS allowed detection of differences in certain markers of renal blood flow between dogs treated orally with and without hydrocortisone. Additional studies are needed to investigate the usefulness of quantitative CEUS in the diagnosis of diffuse renal lesions.
Objective—To describe the contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic characteristics and vascular patterns of adrenal gland tumors in dogs and determine whether those features are indicative of malignancy or histologic type of tumor.
Animals—14 dogs with 16 adrenal gland lesions (10 carcinomas [8 dogs], 3 adenomas [3 dogs], and 3 pheochromocytomas [3 dogs]).
Procedures—Unsedated dogs with adrenal gland lesions underwent B-mode ultrasonography and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography ≤ 48 hours before adrenalectomy; contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic examinations were video-recorded. Macroscopic evaluation of the adrenal gland lesions and histologic examination of removed adrenal gland tissues were subsequently performed. Surgical and histopathologic findings and the ultrasonographic and contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic characteristics were recorded for the various tumor types. Time-intensity curves were generated from the contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic recordings and used to calculate regional blood volume (value proportional to area under the curve) and mean transit time (time the lesion began to enhance to the half-peak intensity).
Results—In adrenal gland carcinomas, tortuous feeding vessels were noticeable during the arterial and venous phases of contrast enhancement. Heterogeneity of contrast enhancement was evident only in malignant tumors. Compared with adenomas, adrenal gland carcinomas and pheochromocytomas had significantly less regional blood volume. Mean transit times were significantly shorter in adrenal gland carcinomas and pheochromocytomas than in adenomas.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For dogs, evaluation of the vascular pattern and contrast-enhancement characteristics of adrenal gland tumors by means of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography may be useful in assessment of malignancy and tumor type.
Objective—To determine the spectrum and frequency of abnormalities for low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of clinically normal Doberman Pinschers and Foxhounds.
Animals—37 clinically normal dogs (20 Doberman Pinschers and 17 Foxhounds).
Procedures—For each dog, MRI of the cervical vertebrae (sagittal, dorsal, and transverse T1- and T2-weighted images) was performed. Variables assessed were intervertebral disk degeneration, disk-associated compression, compression of the dorsal portion of the spinal cord, vertebral body abnormalities, and changes in intraparenchymal signal intensity. Associations between these variables and age, breed, sex, and location of the assessed intervertebral disk spaces were evaluated.
Results—Severe MRI abnormalities were detected in 17 dogs, including complete disk degeneration (n = 4 dogs), spinal cord compression (3), or both (10). Vertebral body abnormalities were detected in 8 dogs, and hyperintense signal intensity was detected in 2 dogs. Severity of disk degeneration and disk-associated compression was significantly associated with increased age. There was a significant association between disk degeneration, disk-as-sociated compression, and compression of the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord and location of the assessed intervertebral disk space, with the intervertebral disk spaces in the caudal portion of the cervical region being more severely affected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Abnormalities were commonly seen on MRI examinations of the caudal portion of the cervical vertebral column and spinal cord of clinically normal Doberman Pinchers and Foxhounds. Such lesions were probably part of the typical spinal cord degeneration associated with the aging process of dogs.
Objective—To assess vascular changes induced by hyperadrenocorticism of hyperplastic adrenal glands in dogs via contrast-enhanced ultrasonography.
Animals—12 dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH) and 7 healthy control dogs ≥ 7 years old.
Procedures—Dogs were assigned to the PDH and control groups and to small-breed (n = 6), medium-breed (4), and large-breed (9) subgroups. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography of both adrenal glands in each dog was performed with IV injections of contrast agent. Time-intensity curves for the adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla, and ipsilateral renal artery of both adrenal glands were generated. Perfusion variables (time to peak [TTP], upslope of wash-in phase, and downslope of washout phase) were calculated.
Results—Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography revealed no qualitative difference between PDH and control groups. Quantitatively, TTPs were longer in the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla of the PDH group, compared with values for the control group, particularly in the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla of the small-breed subgroup. Washout downslopes were lower for the renal artery, adrenal cortex, and adrenal medulla of the small-breed subgroup between the PDH and control groups. No other perfusion variables differed between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography of the adrenal glands in dogs with PDH revealed a delayed TTP in the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla, compared with values for control dogs. Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography was able to detect vascular changes induced by hyperadrenocorticism. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether reference ranges for clinically normal dogs and dogs with PDH can be determined and applied in clinical settings.