Case Description—A 6-year-old Siberian Husky–mix dog was examined for episodes of collapse.
Clinical Findings—Physical examination, echocardiography, abdominal ultrasonography, ECG, and thoracic computed tomography with contrast were performed and revealed a 2.5 × 2.3 × 2.0-cm mass over the pulmonic valve leaflets, resulting in moderate pulmonic stenosis. Other abnormal findings included systemic hypertension, right bundle branch block, proteinuria, and a urinary bladder mass.
Treatment and Outcome—Pulmonary arteriotomy was performed under inflow occlusion, and the mass was resected with transesophageal echocardiographic guidance and direct visualization. Results of histologic examination of the mass revealed a vascular hamartoma. Sequential follow-up examinations and telephone contacts (at 0.5, 5, and 15 months after surgery) revealed that the patient had been free from episodes of collapse since surgery. No regrowth of the mass was noted on follow-up echocardiograms, and the pulmonic stenosis had resolved, although mild to moderate pulmonary insufficiency later developed. The bladder mass was excised 15 months after the first surgery when hematuria developed, and results of histologic examination of this mass revealed a vascular hamartoma. The dog was eventually euthanized 31 months after the initial surgery for reasons that could not be directly linked to any recurrence of the pulmonary artery mass.
Clinical Relevance—Hamartomas are benign tumors that can be located in various tissues, including large arteries. Computed tomography was helpful in predicting the resectability of the intracardiac mass in this dog. Treatment with arteriotomy under inflow occlusion and mild hypothermia resulted in a favorable outcome.
Case Description—2 cats were examined because of congestive heart failure secondary to heartworm infection.
Clinical Findings—One cat had severe abdominal distention and the other had dyspnea secondary to chylothorax. Both had loud right-sided heart murmurs, precordial thrills, and jugular distension. Thoracic radiography revealed cardiomegaly and enlarged caudal pulmonary arteries. Echocardiography revealed tricuspid regurgitation and multiple hyperechoic structures consistent with adult Dirofilaria immitis within the right atrium, right ventricle, and main pulmonary artery. Pulmonary hypertension was documented by means of Doppler echocardiography in 1 cat.
Treatment and Outcome—Cats were anesthetized, and a nitinol gooseneck snare catheter was introduced into the right side of the heart via a jugular venotomy. In the first cat, the snare was used to retrieve 5 female and 2 male adult D immitis. The catheter was then passed into the main pulmonary artery in an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve remaining heartworms. In the second cat, 2 adult female D immitis were removed from the right atrium with the nitinol snare. In both cats, clinical signs resolved within 4 weeks after the procedure.
Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that use of a nitinol gooseneck snare catheter may be a safe and effective technique for removing adult D immitis from the right atrium and ventricle in cats and that successful removal of adult heartworms in infected cats may resolve clinical signs of right-sided congestive heart failure and chylothorax. In addition, findings in 1 cat suggested that removal of all adult heartworms may not be necessary for clinical signs to resolve.