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Use of Computed Tomography and Radiolabeled Leukocytes in a Cat with Pancreatitis

Laurie L. Head, Gregory B. Daniel, Timothy J. Becker, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2005. 46(3): p.263-266.

The normal feline pancreas has been evaluated using radiolabeled leukocytes (99mTc-HMPAO) and computed tomography. The purpose of this report is to describe a clinical case where both modalities were utilized to assess the inflamed feline pancreas. A nine year old female cat presented with anorexia, depression and some vomiting. Blood values were unremarkable. Radiographs and ultrasound were suggestive of pancreatitis. The cat's leukocytes were separated and labeled according to an established protocol. Whole body images were acquired immediately, at 5 and 30 min, and at 1, 2, 4, and 17 hours post injection. Approximately 48 h later, the animal was anesthetized and computed tomography of the abdomen was preformed both pre and post contrast. Surgical biopsies were taken. The distribution of the WBCs was similar to that documented in normal animals, however, at 2 h there was faint uptake seen in the region of the pancreas. This uptake became more intense at 4 h and persisted at 17 h. Computed tomography showed irregular margination of the pancreas, it was larger than normal and inhomogeneous. Contrast enhancement was inhomogeneous and its peak enhancement was not reached until 10 min post injection; normal feline pancreas enhances homogeneously and peaks immediately. Histopathology confirmed pancreatitis with lymphocytic, plasmacytic, neutrophilic and eosinophilic inflammation and fibrosis. Radiolabeled leukocytes can be used to document pancreatic inflammation and this is best seen 4 h after injection. Computed tomography allows superior visualization of the pancreas. Both the appearance and contrast enhancement pattern of the inflamed pancreas differ from normal.