To characterize the anatomic location of the esophageal ostium relative to the rima glottidis in adult Labrador Retrievers with the use of CT.
98 CT scans of 75 adult Labrador Retrievers.
A search of the medical records database identified records of Labrador Retrievers that underwent CT of the head and neck between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2018. Evaluators, blinded to each other's results, reviewed CT images and measured esophageal area at the level of the rima glottidis. For each dog, the left esophageal percentage (LEP) was calculated as the esophageal area left of the rima glottidis midline divided by the overall esophageal area at that level. Variables (age, sex, patient position, intubation status, and maxillary support during CT) were evaluated for association with LEP. The CT images of dogs that had multiple scans were assessed for within-patient variance.
Mean LEP was 56.2 ± 18.1% for all dogs. Only right lateral recumbency was significantly associated with LEP, with a lower LEP for dogs positioned in right lateral recumbency (42.4 ± 12.7%), compared with left lateral (63.0 ± 7.4%) or sternal (57.3 ± 18.8%) recumbency. No association was detected between LEP and other variables assessed. Eleven dogs had multiple CT scans; within-patient variance for LEP was ± 26.6%.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that, although most dogs had an LEP > 50%, the esophageal ostium was fairly centrally located in most dogs and may be more mobile than previously thought. Additional research is warranted to assess this mobility and whether the esophageal ostium location, relative to the larynx, affects the incidence of aspiration pneumonia in dogs undergoing surgical treatment for geriatric-onset laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy.