Multi-factorial considerations for intrathoracic lymph node evaluations of healthy cats on computed tomographic images
Considerações multifatoriais para avaliações de linfonodos intratorácicos de gatos saudáveis em imagens de tomografia computadorizada
Background:It is difficult to examine mild to moderate feline intra-thoracic lymphadenopathy via and thoracic radiography. Despite previous information from computed tomographic (CT) images of intra-thoracic lymph nodes, some factors from animals and CT setting were less elucidated. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of internal factors from animals and external factors from the CT procedure on the feasibility to detect the intra-thoracic lymph nodes. Twenty-four, client-owned, clinically healthy cats were categorized into three groups according to age. They underwent pre- and post-contrast enhanced CT for whole thorax followed by inter-group evaluation and comparison of sternal, cranial mediastinal, and tracheobronchial lymph nodes.
Results:Post contrast-enhanced CT appearances revealed that intra-thoracic lymph nodes of kittens were invisible,whereas the sternal, cranial mediastinal, and tracheobronchial nodes of cats aged over 7 months old were detected(6/24, 9/24 and 7/24, respectively). Maximum width of these lymph nodes were 3.93 ± 0.74 mm, 4.02 ± 0.65 mm,and 3.51 ± 0.62 mm, respectively. By age, lymph node sizes of these cats were not significantly different. Transverselymph node width of males was larger than that of females (P= 0.0425). Besides, the detection score of lymphnodes was affected by slice thickness (P< 0.01) and lymph node width (P= 0.0049). Furthermore, an irregular, softtissue structure, possibly the thymus, was detected in all juvenile cats and three mature cats.Conclusions:Despite additional information on intra-thoracic lymph nodes in CT images, which can be used toinvestigate lymphatic-related abnormalities, age, sex, and slice thickness of CT images must be also considered.
Cat, Computed tomography, Lymph node, Slice thickness, Thorax, Thymus
Gato, tomografia computadorizada, linfonodo, espessura de corte, tórax, timo