Objective—To qualitatively describe lung CT images obtained from sedated healthy equine neonates (≤ 14 days of age), use quantitative analysis of CT images to characterize attenuation and distribution of gas and tissue volumes within the lungs, and identify differences between lung characteristics of foals ≤ 7 days of age and foals > 7 days of age.
Animals—10 Standardbred foals between 2.5 and 13 days of age.
Procedures—Foals were sedated with butorphanol, midazolam, and propofol and positioned in sternal recumbency for thoracic CT. Image analysis software was used to exclude lung from nonlung structures. Lung attenuation was measured in Hounsfield units (HU) for analysis of whole lung and regional changes in attenuation and lung gas and tissue components. Degree of lung attenuation was classified as follows: hyperinflated or emphysema, −1,000 to −901 HU; well aerated, −900 to −501 HU; poorly aerated, −500 to −101 HU; and nonaerated, > −100 HU.
Results—Qualitative evidence of an increase in lung attenuation and patchy alveolar patterns in the ventral lung region were more pronounced in foals ≤ 7 days of age than in older foals. Quantitative analysis revealed that mean ± SD lung attenuation was greater in foals ≤ 7 days of age (−442 ± 28 HU) than in foals > 7 days of age (−521 ± 24 HU). Lung aeration and gas volumes were lower than in other regions ventrally and in the mid lung region caudal to the heart.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Identified radiographic patterns and changes in attenuation were most consistent with atelectasis and appeared more severe in foals ≤ 7 days of age than in older neonatal foals. Recognition of these changes may have implications for accurate CT interpretation in sedated neonatal foals with pulmonary disease.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of single manual alveolar recruitment maneuvers (ARMs) to eliminate atelectasis during CT of anesthetized foals.
ANIMALS 6 neonatal Standardbred foals.
PROCEDURES Thoracic CT was performed on spontaneously breathing anesthetized foals positioned in sternal (n = 3) or dorsal (3) recumbency when foals were 24 to 36 hours old (time 1), 4 days old (time 2), 7 days old (time 3), and 10 days old (time 4). The CT images were collected without ARMs (all times) and during ARMs with an internal airway pressure of 10, 20, and 30 cm H2O (times 2 and 3). Quantitative analysis of CT images measured whole lung and regional changes in attenuation or volume with ARMs.
RESULTS Increased attenuation and an alveolar pattern were most prominent in the dependent portion of the lungs. Subjectively, ARMs did not eliminate atelectasis; however, they did incrementally reduce attenuation, particularly in the nondependent portion of the lungs. Quantitative differences in lung attenuation attributable to position of foal were not identified. Lung attenuation decreased significantly (times 2 and 3) and lung volume increased significantly (times 2 and 3) after ARMs. Changes in attenuation and volume were most pronounced in the nondependent portion of the lungs and at ARMs of 20 and 30 cm H2O.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Manual ARMs did not eliminate atelectasis but reduced attenuation in nondependent portions of the lungs. Positioning of foals in dorsal recumbency for CT may be appropriate when pathological changes in the ventral portion of the lungs are suspected.
OBJECTIVE To compare CT and radiographic images of the lungs in sedated healthy foals positioned in sternal recumbency and to investigate whether a relationship exists between CT-derived measurements of lung attenuation and Paco2 and Pao2.
ANIMALS 6 healthy Standardbred foals < 14 days of age.
PROCEDURES Thoracic CT images were acquired followed by radiographic views with each foal sedated and positioned in sternal recumbency. For each foal, both CT and radiographic images were evaluated for severity and extent of changes by lung regions on the basis of a subjective scoring system by 3 investigators. Quantitative analysis of CT images was also performed. Assessments of Pao2 and Paco2 were performed before sedation, following sedation prior to CT, and after CT prior to radiography.
RESULTS Interobserver agreement for CT and radiographic image scoring was strong (0.73) and fair (0.65), respectively; intraobserver agreement was near perfect for CT (0.97) and radiographic (0.94) image scoring. Increased CT attenuation and radiographic changes were identified for all foals and were preferentially distributed in the caudoventral portion of the lungs. Radiographic scores were significantly lower than CT image scores. A positive correlation (r = 0.872) between lung attenuation and CT image score was identified. A significant increase in Paco2 was not considered clinically relevant. Significant changes in Pao2 were not observed.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that interpretation of CT images may be less subjective, compared with interpretation of radiographic images. These findings may aid in the evaluation of CT and radiographic images of neonatal foals with respiratory tract disease.