Discriminating feline mediastinal masses from pleural effusion on thoracic radiography may be challenging. The study objective was to determine if the carina is displaced caudally and dorsally in cats with a mediastinal mass (mass) compared to cardiogenic pleural effusion (CPE), non-cardiogenic pleural effusion (NCPE), and no thoracic disease (normal). Medical records from 2007-2017 at the OSU VMTH and the MU VHC were reviewed. Advanced imaging or necropsy was required for inclusion into the mass, CPE, and NCPE groups. Three evaluators (radiologist, cardiologist, and 4th year veterinary student) blinded to diagnosis obtained measurements on a lateral radiograph: number of intercostal spaces from the first rib to carina (ICS), distance from caudal aspect of manubrium to carina (MC), standardized vertebral score by drawing MC from the fourth thoracic vertebrae and counting numbers of included vertebral bodies (VS), and distance from first rib to carina (RC). A two factor ANOVA was used; data were reported as mean±SEM. Seventy-eight cats were included. The mass group had increased ICS, MC, VS, and RC compared to other groups. Compared to normal, cats with CPE and NCPE had increased ICS, and CPE cats had increased MC and RC.
These radiographic measurements may aid clinicians in differentiating between mediastinal masses and pleural effusion in cats.
Senior Veterinary Student
Oklahoma State University
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