• dog;
  • gastrointestinal ultrasonography;
  • leiomyoma;
  • leiomyosarcoma;
  • intestinal neoplasm.

Historical, physical examination, clinicopathologic, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings of 13 dogs with gastrointestinal (GI) smooth muscle tumors (11 leiomyosarcomas, 2 leiomyomas) were reviewed. History, including signalment and chief complaint, physical examination and bloodwork were neither sensitive nor specific for GI neoplasia. Imaging procedures, radiology and ultrasonography, detected the presence of abdominal masses in 12 patients, including 9 animals lacking a palpable mass on initial examination. Survey radiographs of 10 of the 13 dogs revealed a mass effect in 5/10 dogs, evidence of peritoneal effusion or free abdominal gas in 3/10 dogs, and an obstructive pattern with gas and fluid distension of the intestinal tract in 1/10 dogs. Ultrasonography identified an abdominal mass in 12/13 dogs, and peritoneal effusion in 5 animals. Ultrasonography correctly recognized an association of the mass with bowel segments by the presence of intraluminal gas, within or adjacent to the mass effect, in 10 dogs, and strongly suggested an intestinal origin in one additional animal. GI smooth muscle tumors often appeared as large masses, eccentrically projecting from the bowel wall, frequently containing single or multiple hypo/anechoic regions. Based on this study we conclude that ultrasonography is more sensitive than survey radiography in the detection of GI smooth muscle tumors, and may present specific features to distinguish smooth muscle tumors from other types of GI tumors. Ultrasonography is recommended as a screening procedure for cases where GI neoplasia is suspected.