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Keywords:

  • computed tomography;
  • thoracic diseases;
  • thoracic radiographs

Computed tomography (CT) of the thorax was performed in 28 dogs and five cats and findings were compared with previous thoracic radiographs. The sample population included all animals that had thoracic radiographs and a CT study within 5 days of each other, where the complete imaging studies were available for review. Thoracic radiographs were considered indeterminate in 31 patients and CT examinations were done to acquire additional information. The presence of additional information from CT relating to presence of pathology, location of pathology, extent of pathology, and involvement of mediastinal structures was recorded. Whether there was a change in diagnosis based on the CT findings was also recorded. In only 4/33 animals (all dogs) did CT fail to provide any new information for the parameters evaluated when compared with survey thoracic radiographs. Additional information about the pathology that was present was gained by CT in 5/5 cats and 21/28 dogs. New information on compartmental location of pathology was seen in 4/5 cats and 19/28 dogs. New information on pathology extent was noted in 5/5 cats and 20/28 dogs. Additional information regarding involvement of mediastinal structures was obtained in 2/5 cats and 10/28 dogs. A change in diagnosis was made in 3/5 cats and 13/28 dogs. In conclusion, CT is a valuable tool for evaluating intrathoracic disease. CT provides additional cross-sectional anatomic information that can aid in anatomic localization and evaluation of the extent of the pathology in question.