OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of contrast medium injection rate on CT-derived renal perfusion estimates obtained with the maximum slope method in healthy small dogs.
ANIMALS 6 healthy sexually intact male purpose-bred Beagles.
PROCEDURES All dogs underwent CT perfusion analysis 3 times in a crossover design, receiving a different contrast medium injection rate (1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 mL/s) each time, with a 1-week interval between imaging sessions. All CT images were obtained at the level of the left renal hilus. The time to peak aortic enhancement (TPAE) and time to initial renal venous enhancement (TIRVE) were measured from time-attenuation curves. The renal CT perfusion estimates (blood flow and blood volume) were estimated by use of the maximum slope method, which assumes no venous outflow of contrast medium during CT perfusion analysis.
RESULTS The TPAE occurred at or before the TIRVE at all injection rates. Median values of estimated blood flow and blood volume did not differ significantly among injection rates.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that the assumption of no venous outflow of contrast medium during renal CT perfusion analysis with the maximum slope method was satisfied for all 3 contrast medium injection rates in the evaluated dogs. A low injection rate may be more practical than higher injection rates that require large catheters for CT perfusion analysis in small dogs such as Beagles.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate dynamic movement of the diaphragm of clinically normal dogs by use of fluoroscopy and to obtain quantitative data of diaphragmatic excursion during spontaneous breathing.
ANIMALS 8 healthy male Beagles with no history of respiratory tract disease.
PROCEDURES Fluoroscopy was performed during stabilized respiratory conditions. The beam center was located at the level of the diaphragm, and diaphragmatic motion was recorded during 3 respiratory cycles in dogs positioned in left lateral, right lateral, and dorsal recumbency. Extent of excursion of the diaphragmatic cupula and both crura, difference in excursion between the left and right crura, and ratios of the excursions of the diaphragmatic cupula and left and right crura to the length of the eighth thoracic vertebra were determined.
RESULTS Diaphragmatic crural excursion was symmetric for dogs in right lateral recumbency, and the crural excursion was approximately three-quarters of the vertebral length; however, crural excursion appeared to be asymmetric for dogs in left lateral recumbency. Mean ± SD difference in excursion between the right and left crura was 22.68 ± 8.68% for left lateral recumbency, 16.63 ± 9.22% for right lateral recumbency, and 18.11 ± 12.96% for dorsal recumbency.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the fluoroscopic view of a dog positioned in right lateral recumbency may allow better evaluation of the symmetry of diaphragmatic excursion, compared with results for other recumbency positions. This study provided quantitative data on the excursion of diaphragmatic movement observed by use of fluoroscopy in clinically normal Beagles.
To investigate radiographic variables for correlation with splenic size as estimated with CT in cats.
38 healthy adult cats.
The width and height of the splenic head and total length, segmental length, and width of the spleen were measured on radiographic and CT images obtained from 10 cats in prospective, exploratory experiments. Distance between the splenic head and left kidney, anatomic locations of the head and tail of the spleen, and CT-derived splenic volume were also assessed. Correlation and agreement between radiographic and CT measurements and interobserver agreement for measurements with each method were determined. A retrospective evaluation of radiographs obtained without sedation or anesthesia for 28 cats was performed to establish preliminary guidelines for the measurement deemed the most reliable estimator of splenic size.
Radiographic measurements of total and segmental splenic length were significantly correlated with the respective CT measurements and with splenic volume. Agreement between radiographic and CT measurements of segmental length was good; interobserver agreement was excellent for all variables. In retrospective evaluations, median segmental length of the spleen was 57.87 mm (range, 34.72 to 105.44 mm) on radiographs; the caudal border of the splenic head on lateral views was located from the cranial part of L1 to the caudal part of L2, and the caudal border of the splenic tail on ventrodorsal views was located from the caudal part of L2 to the caudal part of L5.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that segmental length of the spleen on radiographs is a reliable estimator of splenic size in healthy cats.
To assess the feasibility of blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) MRI for measurement of the renal T2* relaxation rate (R2*; proxy for renal oxygenation) before and after furosemide administration and to evaluate the reliability and repeatability of those measurements in healthy dogs.
8 healthy adult Beagles (4 males and 4 females).
Each dog was anesthetized and underwent BOLD MRI before (baseline) and 3 minutes after administration of furosemide (1 mg/kg, IV) twice, with a 1-week interval between scanning sessions. Mapping software was used to process MRI images and measure R2* and the difference in R2* (∆R2*) before and after furosemide administration. The intraclass correlation coefficient was calculated to assess measurement reliability, and the coefficient of variation and Bland-Altman method were used to assess measurement repeatability.
Mean ± SD baseline R2* in the renal medulla (24.5 ± 3.8 seconds−1) was significantly greater than that in the renal cortex (20.6 ± 2.7 seconds−1). Mean R2* in the renal cortex (18.6 ± 2.6 seconds−1) and medulla (17.8 ± 1.5 seconds−1) decreased significantly after furosemide administration. Mean ∆R2* in the medulla (6.7 ± 2.4 seconds−1) was significantly greater than that in the renal cortex (2.1 ± 0.7 seconds−1). All R2* and ∆R2* values had good or excellent reliability and repeatability, except the cortical ∆R2*, which had poor repeatability.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that BOLD MRI, when performed before and after furosemide administration, was noninvasive and highly reliable and repeatable for dynamic evaluation of renal oxygenation in healthy dogs.
To investigate typical computed tomography (CT) features for the differentiation of vaginal from the uterine origin in dogs.
7 healthy Beagles in the prospective study and 5 bitches in the retrospective study.
In the prospective study, dual-phase CT images were obtained from sexually intact female Beagles (n = 7) during anestrus and estrus. On the CT images, the vagina and uterine horns, body, and cervix were assessed for diameter, attenuation, and contrast enhancement pattern. In the retrospective study, CT features of large vaginal lesions (leiomyoma, leiomyosarcoma, adenocarcinoma, hematocolpos, and Gartner’s duct cyst) were assessed in 5 bitches.
In normal bitches, the cervix was thicker with strong central enhancement compared to the uterus and vagina. The uterine artery, which enters the mesometrium at the level of the cervix, was clearly visualized and assisted in identifying the cervix. In bitches with large vaginal masses, uterine arteries were displaced by the lesions and could not be used to locate the cervix. In 4/5 dogs with vaginal masses, identification of the cervix allowed the determination of the organ of origin. In 1 dog with adenocarcinoma, CT vaginography was additionally required for determining the origin of mass.
Results from this study indicate that the cervix, recognized in CT as focal thickening of the uterus with central enhancement, may be used as a landmark for the differentiation between the uterus and vagina in bitches.
To assess the usefulness of magnetic resonance urography (MRU) for the visualization of nondilated renal pelvises and ureters in dogs and to compare our findings for MRU versus CT urography (CTU).
9 healthy Beagles.
Dogs underwent CTU, static-fluid MRU, and excretory MRU, with ≥ 7 days between procedures. Contrast medium was administered IV during CTU and excretory MRU, whereas urine in the urinary tract was an intrinsic contrast medium for static-fluid MRU. For each procedure, furosemide (1 mg/kg, IV) was administered, and reconstructed dorsal plane images were acquired 3 minutes (n = 2) and 7 minutes (2) later. Images were scored for visualization of those structures and for image quality, diameters of renal pelvises and ureters were measured, and results were compared across imaging techniques.
Excretory MRU and CTU allowed good visualization of the renal pelvises and ureters, whereas static-fluid MRU provided lower visualization of the ureters. Distention of the renal pelvises and ureters was good in excretory MRU and CTU. Distention of the ureters in static-fluid MRU was insufficient compared with that in CTU and excretory MRU. Distinct artifacts were not observed in CTU and excretory MRU images. Static-fluid MRU images had several mild motion artifacts.
Our findings indicated that excretory MRU with furosemide administration was useful for visualizing nondilated renal pelvises and ureters of dogs in the present study. When performing MRU for the evaluation of dogs without urinary tract dilation, excretory MRU may be more suitable than static-fluid MRU.
OBJECTIVE To investigate systemic changes following low-dosage prednisolone administration in dogs.
ANIMALS 4 healthy purpose-bred adult male Beagles.
PROCEDURES Dogs were administered prednisolone PO at a dosage of 2 mg/kg/d for 2 weeks, 1 mg/kg/d for 4 weeks, and 0.5 mg/kg/d for 3 weeks. Body weight, blood pressure, hepatic size and echogenicity, percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes, serum hepatic enzyme activities and glucose concentration, adrenal gland size, and pancreatic echogenicity were evaluated weekly for 9 weeks.
RESULTS The only significant change identified was an increase in hepatic echogenicity, assessed by measuring liver-kidney contrast on ultrasonographic images. Increases in hepatic size and percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes were identified, but values did not differ from baseline values. Similarly, serum hepatic enzyme activities increased, but changes were mild and not significantly different from baseline values. Body weight, pancreatic echogenicity, and serum glucose concentration did not show noticeable changes. Mild systemic hypertension was seen, but blood pressure was not significantly different from the baseline value. Similarly, adrenal gland size steadily decreased during the first 6 weeks and increased again after the prednisolone dosage was decreased to 0.5 mg/kg/d. However, mean adrenal gland size was not significantly different from the baseline value at any time.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that in dogs, administration of prednisolone at a low dosage was associated with minimal systemic effects.
To investigate the diagnostic usefulness of split-bolus CT enterography in dogs.
6 healthy Beagles.
CT enterography was performed in all dogs in a nonrandomized crossover study design involving 3 techniques: a dual-phase technique and 2 techniques involving splitting of the administered contrast agent dose (ie, split technique and split-bolus tracking technique). For the 2 techniques involving dose splitting (ie, split CT enterography), contrast agent was injected twice, with the first injection consisting of 60% of the total dose, followed by injection of the remaining 40%. Then, a single set of CT images was obtained when the arterial and venous phases matched (dual-phase and split techniques) or when enhancement of the abdominal aorta reached 100 HU (split-bolus tracking technique). Enhancement of the intestinal wall and mesenteric vessels was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.
The total number of images required for interpretation was significantly lower for the split technique than for the dual-phase technique. The amount of time needed to complete CT enterography was significantly less for the split-bolus tracking technique than for the other 2 techniques. For all 3 techniques, adequate contrast enhancement of the mesenteric vessels and intestinal wall was achieved. The split technique provided contrast enhancement of the intestinal wall and mesenteric vessels similar to that provided with the dual-phase technique, whereas contrast enhancement of these structures was lowest for the split-bolus tracking technique.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Split-bolus CT enterography at a contrast agent allocation ratio of 60:40 enabled simultaneous evaluation of the enhanced intestine wall and mesenteric vessels and yielded image quality similar to that of dual-phase CT enterography in healthy dogs.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of position, time in that position, and positive end-expiratory pressure on ground-glass opacity caused by physiologic atelectasis on lung CT images and to determine effects of recumbency position before CT.
ANIMALS 6 healthy Beagles.
PROCEDURES In a crossover study, dogs were placed in 4 positions (sternal, dorsal, right lateral, and left lateral recumbency) for 2 holding times (30 and 60 minutes). Dogs were then repositioned in sternal recumbency, and CT was performed at 2 positive end-expiratory pressures (0 and 15 mm Hg). Location, distribution, and degree of ground-glass opacities were evaluated on lung CT images. Volume and mean density of the lungs and ground-glass opacities as well as maximum density of ground-glass opacities were evaluated.
RESULTS Ground-glass opacities were mainly observed in parts of the lungs that were dependent during the various positions before CT, except for sternal recumbency. Opacities were reversible and decreased or disappeared after lung inflation. Ground-glass opacities were observed most frequently and had greatest severity when dogs were positioned in left lateral recumbency before CT. Ground-glass opacities were negligible for dogs positioned in sternal recumbency before CT.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Location and reversibility of ground-glass opacities may help clinicians distinguish whether they are attributable to atelectasis or a result of pathological changes. Dogs should be positioned in sternal recumbency to minimize the occurrence of ground-glass opacities, particularly when several procedures are performed before CT, which increases the time that a dog will remain in the same position.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate contrast agents for their ability to improve visualization of the colon wall and lumen during CT and ultrasonography.
ANIMALS 10 healthy adult Beagles.
PROCEDURES Food was withheld from dogs for 36 hours, after which dogs consumed 250 mL of polyethylene glycol solution. Dogs were then anesthetized, a contrast agent (tap water, diluted barium, or air; order randomly assigned) was administered rectally, iodine contrast medium (880 mg of I/kg) was administered IV, and CT and ultrasonography of the colon were performed. After a 1-week washout period, this process was repeated with a different contrast agent until all agents had been evaluated. Two investigators reviewed the CT and ultrasonographic images for colon wall thickness, conspicuity, artifacts, wall layering, and degree of lumen dilation at 4 sites.
RESULTS Thickness of the colon wall was greatest in CT and ultrasonographic images with water used as contrast agent, followed by barium and then air. The CT images obtained after water administration had a smooth appearance that outlined the colonic mucosa and had the highest score of the 3 contrast agents for wall conspicuity. Although no substantial artifacts related to any of the contrast agents were identified on CT images, barium- and gas-induced shadowing and reverberation artifacts hindered wall evaluation during ultrasonography. For ultrasonography, the degree of conspicuity was highest with barium in the near-field wall and with water in the far-field wall. In contrast to CT, ultrasonography could be used to distinguish wall layering, and the mucosal and muscular layers were distinct with all contrast agents.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of water as a contrast agent for both CT and ultrasonography of the colon in dogs compensated for each imaging modality's disadvantages and could be beneficial in the diagnosis of colon disease.