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Keywords:

  • feline;
  • histology;
  • radiograph;
  • pulmonary fibrosis;
  • pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive fatal interstitial lung disease that is often idiopathic, occurs in multiple species, and may be caused by a number of inciting factors. The purpose of this retrospective, multicenter study was to describe the radiographic and histopathologic characteristics of idiopathic and induced pulmonary fibrosis in a group of cats. Cats with thoracic radiographs and histopathologically confirmed pulmonary fibrosis were recruited using the American College of Veterinary Radiology list serve. A board-certified veterinary radiologist and diagnostic imaging intern reviewed radiographs and recorded characteristics by consensus. Findings from additional imaging modalities were also recorded when available. All histopathology samples were re-reviewed by a veterinary pathology resident. A total of nine cats met inclusion criteria. All patients had a broad range of radiographic characteristics that included broncho-interstitial pattern, alveolar pattern, pulmonary masses, pulmonary bullae, pleural effusion, and cardiomegaly. Cats with available echocardiographic studies had characteristics that included right ventricular dilation and hypertrophy and pulmonary arterial hypertension interpreted to be secondary to primary lung disease. Cats with available CT studies had characteristics that included focally increased soft tissue attenuation, masses, and ventral consolidation that exhibited no improvement with dorsal versus ventral recumbency. Histopathology showed pulmonary fibrosis, type II pneumocyte hyperplasia, and smooth muscle hypertrophy in all patients. Epithelial metaplasia was present only in one patient. Findings from the current study indicated that cats with pulmonary fibrosis have highly variable radiographic characteristics and that these characteristics may mimic other diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, or neoplasia.