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  • Author or Editor: Marina Domínguez Ruiz x
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OBJECTIVE To characterize and investigate potential associations between causes of pleural effusion and various clinical factors in a large cohort of affected cats.

DESIGN Retrospective case series with nested cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS 380 client-owned cats with a diagnosis of pleural effusion from January 1, 2009, through July 14, 2014, for which the cause of pleural effusion had been fully investigated.

PROCEDURES Electronic medical records were reviewed and data collected regarding cat characteristics, clinical signs, cause of pleural effusion, treatment, and survival status at discharge from the hospital. Variables were examined for associations with causes of pleural effusion.

RESULTS 87 (22.9%) cats died or were euthanized before discharge from the hospital. Congestive heart failure (CHF) was the most common cause (155 [40.8%]) of pleural effusion, followed by neoplasia (98 [25.8%]). Other causes included pyothorax, idiopathic chylothorax, trauma, feline infectious peritonitis, and nontraumatic diaphragmatic hernia. Cats with trauma or feline infectious peritonitis were significantly younger than those with CHF or neoplasia. Cats with lymphoma were significantly younger than those with carcinoma. Cats with CHF had a significantly lower rectal temperature at hospital admission (mean ± SD, 36.9 ± 1.2°C [98.4 ± 2.2°F]) than did cats with pleural effusion from other causes (37.9 ± 1.2°C [100.2 ± 2.2°F]).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cats with pleural effusion in this study had a poor prognosis; CHF and neoplasia were common causes. Age and hypothermia may be helpful to raise the index of suspicion for certain underlying causes of pleural effusion in cats.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association