• dog;
  • esophagus;
  • mediastinum;
  • positioning;
  • radiology;
  • spirocercosis;
  • Spirocerca lupi;
  • thorax

In this prospective study, the effect of thoracic positioning on the visibility and size of caudal esophageal masses caused by spirocercosis was investigated. Dorsoventral (DV), ventrodorsal (VD) as well as left lateral recumbent (LLR) and right lateral recumbent (RLR) thoracic radiographs of 28 dogs, diagnosed endoscopically with spirocercosis, were evaluated. The radiographic findings were compared with those of esophageal endoscopy. Masses were seen equally well in left vs. right recumbency as well as in DV vs. VD positions but in DV/VD views 86% of masses were detected whereas in lateral views only 50% of masses were identified. In spirocercosis-endemic areas DV and RLR views are advised as they also allow for better visualization of descending aorta aneurysms and to avoid interpreting the potentially normally visible esophagus in LLR in large dogs as a mass.