Thoracic Computed Tomography, Angiographic Computed Tomography, And Pathology Findings In Six Cats Experimentally Infected With Aelurostrongylus Abstrusus

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Dennler M, Bass DA, Gutierrez-Crespo B, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2013;54:459-469.

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection is common in endemic areas and may cause severe respiratory clinical signs. Computed tomography (CT) is an important tool to diagnose pulmonary disease, because it allows detection of small lesions and discrimination of superimposed structures. The purpose of this study was to characterize by CT and angiographic CT the pulmonary lesions in six cats before, and 48 and 81 days after inoculation with 100 or 800 A. abstrusus infective larvae. Histological examination of the accessory lung lobe was performed to determine the microscopic, pathomorphologic correlate of the CT findings. The predominant CT lesion consisted of multiple nodules of varying size distributed throughout the lungs, severity depending on infectious dose. The histological correlate of the nodular lesions was multifocal dense granulomatous to mixed inflammatory cell infiltrates, including eosinophils distributed in the parenchyma and obliterating the alveoli. Marked, multifocal, dose-dependent thickening of the bronchi and adjacent interstitial changes blurred the margins of the outer serosal surface of the bronchi and vessels. Histologically, this was due to peribronchial mixed cell inflammation. During the course of infection some of the nodular and peribronchial changes were replaced by areas of ground-glass opacity. In addition to providing detailed depiction of pulmonary lesions resulting from an infectious cause and clearly defining lesions with respect to time and severity of infection, CT allowed quantitative assessment of bronchial thickness and lymph node size during the course of disease. Findings indicated that CT characteristics of this disease are consistent with pathologic findings.