Jones ID, Lamb CR, Drees R, et al.
Ability to noninvasively differentiate malignant from nonmalignant abdominal masses would aid clinical decision making. The aim of this retrospective, cross-sectional study was to identify features in dual-phase computed tomographic (CT) studies that could be used to distinguish malignant from nonmalignant hepatic and splenic masses in dogs. Medical records were searched for dogs that had an abdominal dual-phase CT examination, a hepatic or splenic mass, and subsequent histopathologic diagnosis. Computed tomographic images for all included dogs were acquired prior to and <30 s (early phase) and >60 s (delayed phase) after intravenous contrast administration. Fifty-two dogs with 55 masses were studied: 24 hepatic, including 14 (58%) malignant and 10 (42%) non-malignant; 31 splenic, including 18 (58%) malignant and 13 (42%) nonmalignant. There was substantial overlap in the pre- and postcontrast CT features of malignant and nonmalignant hepatic and splenic masses. Regardless of histologic diagnosis, hepatic masses most frequently showed marked, generalized enhancement in early phase images that persisted in the delayed phase. Splenic hemangiosarcoma and nodular hyperplastic lesions most frequently showed marked, generalized enhancement in early phase images that persisted in delayed images whereas most splenic hematomas had slight enhancement in early phase images. All splenic hematomas and 77% of the hemangiosarcomas had contrast accumulation compatible with active hemorrhage. There were no other significant differences in quantitative or categorical CT data between malignant and nonmalignant hepatic or splenic masses. Dual-phase CT of dogs with hepatic or splenic masses provides limited specific diagnostic information.