Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Reetz, at the above address. E-mail: jreetz@vet.upenn.edu


Pleural space masses and nodules are rarely described on computed tomography (CT) in veterinary medicine and have only been described in patients with neoplasia. Our purpose was to describe the CT findings and diagnoses in seven patients with pleural masses and nodules. Two patients had broad-based, plaque-like pleural masses, both of which were due to neoplasia (primary pleural carcinoma, metastatic thymoma). Two patients had well-defined pleural nodules and nodular pleural thickening, one of which had mesothelial hypertrophy, and another of which had metastatic hemangiosarcoma. Three patients had ill-defined pleural nodules to nodular pleural thickening, one of which had metastatic pulmonary carcinoma, while the other two had bacterial infection with mesothelial proliferation (n = 2), fibrinous pleuritis (n = 1), and severe mediastinal pleuritis/mediastinitis (n = 2). Five of the seven patients had focal, multifocal or diffuse smooth, and/or irregular pleural thickening. Five of seven patients had pleural effusion, and postcontrast CT was useful in several patients for delineating the pleural lesions from the effusion. All patients except one had additional lesions identified on CT besides those in the pleural space. CT is useful in identifying and characterizing pleural space lesions and could be used to guide further diagnostic procedures such as thoracoscopy or exploratory thoracotomy. Both neoplastic and nonneoplastic diseases should be considered in the differential diagnoses for pleural space masses and nodules found on CT.