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  • Author or Editor: Sophie N. Eiger x
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A 1-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair cat was evaluated for a sternal defect and ventral abdominal wall hernia.


The cat appeared healthy. Palpation revealed a sternal defect, and the heart could be observed beating underneath the skin at the caudoventral aspect of the thorax. A 3-cm-diameter freely movable mass, consistent with a hernia, was also palpated at the cranioventral aspect of the abdomen. Thoracic radiographic and CT images revealed a sternal cleft, cranial midline abdominal wall hernia, and peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia (PPDH).


Thoracotomy and celiotomy were performed. The sternal cleft was repaired with a porcine small intestinal submucosa graft, titanium contourable mesh plate, and interrupted 25-gauge cerclage wires. A diaphragmatic herniorrhaphy was used to correct the PPDH. Thoracic radiographs were obtained immediately after surgery to confirm repair of the sternal cleft, abdominal wall hernia, and PPDH and at 1 and 3 months after surgery to assess the surgical implants, which had not migrated and were intact with only mild bending at the cranial and caudal margins of the mesh plate. At both recheck examinations, the cat appeared healthy with no complications reported by the owner.


A novel surgical technique was used to successfully repair a large sternal cleft in an adult cat with no postoperative complications reported. This technique may be useful for the treatment of sternal clefts in other cats. This was the first report to describe an adult cat with congenital defects consistent with incomplete pentalogy of Cantrell.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association