To investigate the clinical feasibility of attenuation imaging of the hepatic parenchyma in healthy dogs, identify technical factors that influence measured attenuation coefficients, and determine intraobserver repeatability of measurements.
10 healthy Beagles.
Attenuation coefficients were calculated for various measurement sites (left vs central division of the liver), scanning planes (transverse vs sagittal plane), scanning depths (10 to 20 mm vs 20 to 30 mm), scanning approaches (intercostal vs subcostal approach), and breathing conditions (free breathing vs breath holding at end expiration). Intraoperator intraday and interday reliability was assessed by computing intraclass correlation coefficients.
Attenuation coefficients were not influenced significantly by scanning plane (P = .120 to 1.000), measurement site (P = .292 to .848), or breathing condition (P = .166). However, coefficients were significantly (P < .01) less with deeper scanning depths and significantly (P < .05) more for the subcostal approach than the intercostal approach. The intraday and interday intraclass correlation coefficients showed good repeatability (0.799 and 0.771, respectively), regardless of the scanning plane and measurement site. Scanning the central division of the liver with the right intercostal approach at a depth of 10 to 20 mm from the liver capsule yielded good reliability.
Attenuation imaging was a feasible technique for evaluating the hepatic parenchyma in healthy dogs with good repeatability. Measured attenuation coefficients were not affected by the scanning plane, measurement site, or breathing condition.