Ultrasonographic findings in abdominal mast cell disease: a retrospective study of 19 patients

Authors

  • Amy F. Sato DVM,

    1. Section of Radiology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westborough Road, North Grafton, MA 01536.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mauricio Solano MV

    1. Section of Radiology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westborough Road, North Grafton, MA 01536.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amy F. Sato, DVM, at the above address.

Abstract

A retrospective survey from January 1989 to January 1999 of Tufts University Foster Hospital for Small Animals radiology records of 12 dogs and seven cats with cytologically or histopathologically confirmed abdominal mast cell disease was performed. Ultrasound changes in hepatic mast cell infiltration in dogs included a subjective increase in size, a diffuse increase in echogenicity, and one or more hypoechoic nodules. Ultrasound findings in the affected canine spleen included one or more hypoechoic nodules and a subjective increase in size. Two ultrasonographically unremarkable canine livers and one unremarkable spleen were found to be infiltrated by mast cells. The mast cell-infiltrated feline spleen was subjectively increased in size, mottled, irregular, or contained nodules. The affected lymph nodes in both dogs and cats were hypoechoic or inhomogeneous, subjectively increased in size, and rounded. Gastrointestinal involvement in cats was characterized by a thickened ileocecocolic junction or colon with loss of wall layering. Mast cells were not found in the gastrointestinal tract in any dog. One dog with mast cell infiltrate of the kidneys had multiple hypoechoic nodules in the cortex that distorted the outer contour of the kidney. Although these findings are not specific to the disease in either species, abdominal ultrasound is considered a useful tool for determining the extent of disease in small-animal patients with mast cell tumor if used in conjunction with histopathology or cytology.

Ancillary