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Thoracic Computed Tomography Findings in Dogs Experimentally Infected with Angiostrongylus Vasorum

Dennler M., Makara M., Kranjc A., et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2011. 52(3): p.289-294.

To characterize the computed tomography (CT) features of thoracic lesions caused by infection with Angiostrongylus vasorum, pre- and postcontrast CT was performed in six experimentally infected Beagles 13 weeks postinoculation and in four of these 9 weeks postchemotherapy. Findings were compared with survey radiographs and necropsy findings. A multicentric bronchoalveolar pattern more pronounced at the lung periphery was present radiographically. On CT, the predominant abnormality underlying this alveolar pattern was multiple large nodules merging to areas of consolidation, and containing air bronchograms of varying extent. These nodular changes corresponded to histopathologic granulomata, consisting mainly of macrophages, multinucleated giant cells, and lymphocytes that had accumulated around larvae and eggs. Morphologically, no bronchial changes were observed on CT or histologically. Quantitatively, however, on CT there was evidence of bronchial thickening at 13 weeks postinoculation and mild very peripheral bronchiectasia 9 weeks postchemotherapy. Regional lymph nodes were enlarged after infection, and smaller after treatment. On postcontrast CT, several suspicious intraluminal filling defects suggestive of thrombosis were found; however, the tortuosity of some pulmonary arteries seen radiographically was not present in CT images. After treatment, the consolidations and large nodules had almost completely disappeared. A remaining radiographic interstitial pattern was characterized on CT as ground-glass opacifications, subpleural interstitial thickening, subpleural lines, and interface signs. These interstitial changes reflected fibrosis as documented histopathologically. CT allowed very detailed and accurate characterization of pulmonary parenchymal lesions, bronchi, and lymphnodes and closely reflected histopathological changes.