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Keywords:

  • canine;
  • GDV;
  • imaging;
  • prognosis;
  • surgery

Abstract

Objective

To identify the incidence of clinically significant findings on preoperative thoracic radiographs in dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) and to determine if those findings are associated with survival.

Design

Retrospective study from 2000 to 2010.

Setting

Urban university small animal teaching hospital.

Animals

One hundred and one dogs diagnosed with GDV that had thoracic radiographs obtained preoperatively, and medical records available with the following information available: signalment, time of presentation, respiratory status, plasma lactate, presence of cardiac arrhythmias, reason for thoracic radiographs, radiographic findings, and outcome.

Interventions

None.

Results

Findings on preoperative thoracic radiographs included small vena cava (40%), esophageal dilation (39%), microcardia (34%), aspiration pneumonia (14%), cardiomegaly (5%), pulmonary nodule (4%), pulmonary edema (2%), sternal lymphadenopathy (1%), and pulmonary bullae (1%). Eighty-four percent of dogs (85 out of 101) survived to discharge. Dogs without cardiomegaly on presenting thoracic radiographs had a 10.2 greater odds of surviving to discharge.

Conclusions

The most common findings on preoperative thoracic radiographs include esophageal dilation, microcardia, and a small vena cava while the incidence of pulmonary nodules was low. A negative association between survival and presence of cardiomegaly on preoperative thoracic radiographs in dogs with GDV supports the need to obtain these images for prognostic information in spite of the emergency surgical nature of the GDV. The main limitations of this study include the possibilities of type I and type II errors, the retrospective nature of the study, and the lack of well-defined criteria for obtaining thoracic radiographs.