Comparison of computed tomography with radiography as a noninvasive diagnostic technique for chronic nasal disease in dogs

Codner EC, Lurus AG, Miller JB, et al.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 1993;202:1106-1110.

Computed tomography was evaluated as a noninvasive technique for the diagnosis of chronic nasal disease in dogs. Computed tomographic images, radiographs, and histopathologic findings were compared in 11 dogs with chronic nasal disease. Definitive diagnosis was made following traumatic nasal flush, exploratory surgery, or necropsy. The study included 8 dogs with intranasal tumors, 2 dogs with bacterial rhinitis (Pasteurella sp), and 1 dog with mycotic rhinitis (Aspergillus sp). Computed tomography was superior to radiography in defining the extent of the disease process and in differentiating infectious rhinitis from nasal neoplasms. It defined lesions in the palate, nasopharyngeal meatus, maxillary sinus, caudal ethmoturbinates, and periorbital tissues that were difficult to demonstrate by use of conventional radiography. Tumors appeared as space-occupying lesions that obliterated the turbinates, caused deviation of the nasal septum, and eroded bone. Rhinitis appeared as a cavitating lesion that spared the paranasal sinuses, thickened and distorted the turbinates, and widened the meatus. Although morphologically distinct on computed tomographic images, infectious rhinitis and nasal neoplasms could not be differentiated by attenuation measurements or degree of contrast enhancement. Computed tomography appeared to be a reliable, noninvasive technique for the diagnosis of chronic nasal disease in dogs, and a promising alternative to diagnostic techniques currently in use.