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  • Author or Editor: Melissa A. MacIver x
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OBJECTIVE To characterize clinical findings, surgical procedures, complications, and outcomes in dogs undergoing extirpation of masses from the cranial mediastinum via video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and establish preliminary guidelines for case selection when considering VATS for thymectomy in dogs.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 18 client-owned dogs that underwent extirpation of a cranial mediastinal mass by means of VATS at 5 academic referral hospitals from 2009 through 2014.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed and data extracted regarding signalment, clinical signs, physical examination findings, diagnostic imaging results, surgical approach and duration, cytologic and histologic examination results, complications, outcome, and cause of death, when applicable.

RESULTS 16 dogs had a thymoma, 1 had thymic anaplastic carcinoma, and 1 had hemangiosarcoma. Seven had both megaesophagus and myasthenia gravis. Median approximate tumor volume was 113.1 cm3 (interquartile range, 33.5 to 313.3 cm3). Median duration of VATS was 117.5 minutes (interquartile range, 91.5 to 136.3 minutes). Conversion to an open thoracic surgical procedure was required for 2 dogs, 1 of which died during surgery. Median survival time following VATS for dogs with thymoma and concurrent myasthenia gravis and megaesophagus was 20 days. Dogs with thymoma without paraneoplastic syndrome survived for ≥ 60 days, and none of these dogs died of disease-related causes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE VATS appeared to be an acceptable approach for extirpation of masses from the cranial mediastinum in dogs under certain conditions. Dogs with myasthenia gravis and megaesophagus had a poor postoperative outcome.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association