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Computed tomographic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats: 18 cases (2002–2008)

Andrew Gendler DVM1, John R. Lewis VMD, DAVDC2, Jennifer A. Reetz DVM, DACVIM, DACVR3, and Tobias Schwarz Dr med vet, DACVR4
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  • 1 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the computed tomographic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in cats and identify imaging characteristics associated with survival time.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—18 cats with a diagnosis of oral SCC.

Procedures—Information on history; clinical, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging findings; treatment; and survival time was obtained from medical records of 18 cats with oral SCC. Computed tomography (CT) studies were examined to identify features associated with oral SCC. The association of CT features with survival time was evaluated.

Results—On CT images, SCC was centered at the following sites: sublingual or lingual region (n = 7), maxilla (5), buccal mucosa (4), mandible (4), pharyngeal mucosa (2), soft palate mucosa (1), and lip (1). These results were in agreement with the results of oral examination for all sites, except the soft palate (CT, 1 cat; oral examination, 4 cats). On CT images, extension of maxillary masses was most often observed to affect the orbit (5 cats). Heterogeneous contrast enhancement was most commonly identified (8/18). Osteolytic mass lesions were identified on CT images in 9 cats. None of the quantitative CT features that were identified, including mass size, attenuation, or lymph node width, were correlated with survival time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Common CT features of oral SCC in cats included sublingual and maxillary locations, marked heterogeneous contrast enhancement, and osteolysis. Computed tomography may be used to determine mass extension and lymph node enlargement, but results did not correlate with survival time.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the computed tomographic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in cats and identify imaging characteristics associated with survival time.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—18 cats with a diagnosis of oral SCC.

Procedures—Information on history; clinical, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging findings; treatment; and survival time was obtained from medical records of 18 cats with oral SCC. Computed tomography (CT) studies were examined to identify features associated with oral SCC. The association of CT features with survival time was evaluated.

Results—On CT images, SCC was centered at the following sites: sublingual or lingual region (n = 7), maxilla (5), buccal mucosa (4), mandible (4), pharyngeal mucosa (2), soft palate mucosa (1), and lip (1). These results were in agreement with the results of oral examination for all sites, except the soft palate (CT, 1 cat; oral examination, 4 cats). On CT images, extension of maxillary masses was most often observed to affect the orbit (5 cats). Heterogeneous contrast enhancement was most commonly identified (8/18). Osteolytic mass lesions were identified on CT images in 9 cats. None of the quantitative CT features that were identified, including mass size, attenuation, or lymph node width, were correlated with survival time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Common CT features of oral SCC in cats included sublingual and maxillary locations, marked heterogeneous contrast enhancement, and osteolysis. Computed tomography may be used to determine mass extension and lymph node enlargement, but results did not correlate with survival time.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Schwarz' present address is the Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland.

Address correspondence to Dr. Gendler (agendler@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu).