Objective—To optimize methods for the use of computed tomography (CT) to assess pathologic changes in the lungs of calves and to determine the effect of treatment on lung consolidation.
Animals—10 male Holstein calves.
Procedures—Calves were anesthetized to facilitate CT imaging of the thorax. After initial images were obtained, pneumonia was induced in the calves by inoculation through a bronchoscope. Two calves were used in a preliminary study to refine the inoculation dose and optimize CT images. Four calves were administered florfenicol and 4 calves were untreated control animals. Serial images were obtained 24, 48, and 72 hours after inoculation. After final images were obtained, calves were euthanized, and lung consolidation was estimated by use of lung surface area scoring and water displacement. These estimates were compared with estimated lung consolidation obtained by use of CT.
Results—Calves had rapid disease progression. Percentage of lung consolidation was not significantly different between treatment groups for any of the estimation methods. Results of an ANOVA of the 3 assessment methods indicated significant differences among methods. Estimates of the percentage of lung consolidation obtained by use of surface area scoring and CT correlated well, whereas water displacement estimates correlated poorly with other methods of consolidation estimation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because of the correlation with other methods for estimation of lung consolidation, CT has the potential to be used to monitor disease progression in calves with experimentally induced respiratory tract disease.