Computed Tomographic, Radiographic, And Endoscopic Tracheal Dimensions In English Bulldogs With Grade 1 Clinical Signs Of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Kaye BM, Boroffka SAEB, Haagsman AN, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2015;56:609-616.

Tracheal hypoplasia is commonly seen in English Bulldogs affected with brachycephalic airway syndrome. Previously published diagnostic criteria for tracheal hypoplasia in this breed have been a radiographic tracheal diameter:tracheal inlet ratio (TD:TI) < 0.12 or a tracheal diameter:third rib diameter ratio (TD:3R) < 2.0. Computed tomography has become increasingly used for airway evaluation, however published information is lacking regarding CT tracheal dimensions in English Bulldogs. Objectives of this prospective cross-sectional study were to describe radiographic and CT tracheal dimensions in a sample of clinically normal English Bulldogs and compare these values with tracheoscopy scores. Computed tomography (n = 40), radiography (n = 38), and tracheoscopy (n = 40) studies were performed during a single general anesthesia session for each included dog. Tracheal measurements were recorded at three locations: cervical, thoracic inlet, and thorax. Tracheal diameters were narrowest at the thoracic inlet with all techniques. Computed tomographic measurements averaged 19% greater than radiographic measurements. All included dogs had radiographic tracheal measurements greater than the previously published criteria for tracheal hypoplasia. Mean CT TD:TI was 0.26 (± 0.03, 0.20–0.33), and mean CT TT:3R was 2.27 (± 0.24, 1.71–2.74). Radiographic TD:TI and CT TD:TI were significantly correlated (P = 0.00); however radiographic TT:3R and CT TT:3R were not significantly correlated (P = 0.25). Tracheoscopy identified hypoplastic changes in all dogs and tracheoscopy scores were not correlated with CT or radiography diameter measurements. In conclusion, findings indicated that some CT and radiographic tracheal diameter measurements were comparable in English Bulldogs however diameters for both imaging techniques were not comparable with tracheoscopy scores.