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  • Author or Editor: Liesel L. van der Merwe x
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Objective—To determine the usefulness of pneumoesophagography, compared with that of survey radiography, for characterization of esophageal pathological changes in dogs with endoscopically confirmed intraluminal Spirocerca lupi nodules in the caudal portion of the esophagus.

Design—Diagnostic test evaluation.

Animals—30 dogs with endoscopically confirmed spirocercosis.

Procedures—Dorsoventral (DV) and right lateral recumbent (RLR) thoracic survey radiographs were obtained for each dog. Endoscopy was subsequently performed, the esophagus was inflated with air, and left lateral recumbent, RLR, DV, and ventrodorsal thoracic radiographs were obtained. The amount of esophageal and gastric distention was recorded. Visibility, location, and surface characteristics of lesions and total length of esophageal involvement were recorded independently for each radiograph and modality and compared with each other.

Results—Survey DV radiographs were more reliable than survey RLR radiographs for detecting caudal esophageal pathological changes. Lateral pneumoesophagograms showed more esophageal air and had more visible nodules than did their orthogonal counterparts. Right lateral recumbent pneumoesophagograms allowed for evaluation of the air-filled stomach, particularly the cardiac portion, for additional pathological changes. Pneumoesophagography allowed the mural position (47% located dorsally) and surface characteristics of Spirocerca nodules to be determined. Six of 9 dogs with confirmed malignant disease had an irregular nodule surface suggestive of neoplastic transformation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pneumoesophagography was easily performed in dogs with spirocercosis and showed promise as a cost-effective and safe initial diagnostic procedure for further evaluation and characterization of suspected caudal esophageal lesions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association