Computed tomographic and radiographic characteristics of aortic lesions in 42 dogs with spirocercosis

Robert M. Kirberger, Nerissa Stander, Nicky Cassel, Paolo Pazzi, Varaidzo Mukorera, Jevan Christie, Ann Carstens, Eran Dvir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spirocerca lupi is a common cause of vomiting, regurgitation, and sudden death in dogs that live in tropical or subtropical regions. Sudden death due to aortic rupture may occur with no preceding clinical signs. The purpose of this prospective study was to compare radiographic and computed tomographic (CT) characteristics of aortic lesions in a cohort of 42 dogs with endoscopically confirmed spirocercosis. Dorsoventral and right lateral recumbent thoracic radiographic findings were compared with pre- and postcontrast thoracic CT findings. Aortic mineralization was detected using CT in 18/42 dogs (43%). Three dogs had faint diffuse aortic wall mineralization. Using CT as the reference standard, radiographs had a sensitivity and specificity of 6% and 96%, respectively, for detecting aortic mineralization. A total of 20 aortic aneurysms were detected using CT in 15/42 dogs (36%). Using CT as the reference standard, radiographs had a sensitivity and specificity of 86% and 56%, respectively, for detecting aortic aneurysms. Respiratory motion, aortic displacement by esophageal masses and Spirocerca nodules adjacent to the aorta mimicked aneurysm formation on radiographs. Aortic thrombi were seen in two dogs in postcontrast CT images. Findings from this study indicated that aortic mineralization and aneurysm formation are common in dogs with spirocercosis. Findings also supported the use of pre- and postcontrast CT as effective methods for detecting and characterizing these lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-222
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2013

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