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Computed Tomographic Findings in Canine Pyothorax and Correlation with Findings at Exploratory Thoracotomy

Swinbourne F., Baines E.A., Baines S.J., et al.

J Small Anim Pract, 2011. 52(4): p.203-8.

OBJECTIVES: To describe computed tomographic (CT) findings in canine spontaneous pyothorax and compare them to surgical findings and to assess the utility of CT in guiding case management. METHODS: Records from 2003 to 2010 were reviewed to identify dogs, with spontaneous pyothorax, which had undergone CT. Cases were managed medically or surgically. CT images and surgery reports were reviewed and compared for surgical cases. RESULTS: Twelve dogs were included. Eight were managed surgically, three were managed medically and one died before management. Pleural fluid was present in all dogs on CT (n=12) and at surgery (n=8). Pleural gas was identified in five dogs on CT. Pleural thickening was detected in eight dogs on CT (seven visceral, one parietal and six mediastinal) and eight dogs at surgery (seven visceral, eight parietal and six mediastinal), six of which were identified by CT. Abnormal pulmonary parenchyma was detected in 10 dogs on CT and 5 dogs at surgery, all of which were identified by CT. Mediastinal involvement was detected in 10 dogs on CT and 6 dogs at surgery, 5 of which were identified by CT. CONCLUSIONS: CT and surgical findings are similar in most cases of canine spontaneous pyothorax. CT may be a useful diagnostic tool for guiding case management.