• horse;
  • computed tomographic angiography;
  • aneurysm;
  • parapharyngeal


Multidetector-row computed tomographic contrast angiography (MDCTA) is routinely employed to investigate vascular masses in human patients but, to date, the use of this technique to investigate an aneurysmal mass has not been reported in an equine case. The potential of MDCTA to investigate a right-sided parapharyngeal mass in a 6-week-old Thoroughbred foal was therefore investigated.

A 4-slice helical computed tomography scanner was used on a superficial, firm, ovoid mass yielding arterial blood on fine needle aspiration. MDCTA enabled identification of the vessels involved thus assisting in forming a diagnosis based on the morphology of the lesion and aided surgical planning. Histology confirmed the presence of mural thrombus and calcification within the smooth muscle wall consistent with a true aneurysm. MDCTA provided additional information to conventional imaging in this case of vascular masses of the head and neck. The technique therefore has the potential to improve diagnosis and assist in the management of such lesions.