Evaluation Of The Gastrointestinal Tract In Dogs Using Computed Tomography

Hoey S, Drees R, Hetzel S.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2013;54:25-30.

Abdominal computed tomography (CT) studies of 19 dogs with no history or clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease, and two dogs with a histological diagnosis of gastrointestinal neoplasia were examined retrospectively. Gastrointestinal segments were evaluated subjectively for conspicuity, contrast enhancement, and wall layering after contrast medium administration. In dogs without gastrointestinal disease, there were 62.8% of gastrointestinal segments (serosa to serosa) and 77.7% of gastrointestinal walls (serosa to mucosa) visualized. Wall layering on postcontrast images was seen in 21.8% of gastrointestinal segments. There was significant association between gastrointestinal diameter and wall thickness. There was significant association between weight and gastrointestinal wall thickness in the following regions: gastric fundus, gastric body, gastric pylorus, gastric pyloric antrum, duodenal cranial flexure, jejunum and ascending colon, and between patient weight and gastrointestinal diameter in cranial duodenal flexure, descending duodenum, transverse duodenum, ascending duodenum, and jejunum. Measurements acquired from CT studies correlated well with previously published normal reference ranges for radiographic and ultrasonographic studies. Gastrointestinal neoplasia, diagnosed in two dogs, had a gastrointestinal wall thickness greater than the range of the dogs without gastrointestinal disease. Computed tomography offers identification of the gastrointestinal tract segments in dogs, allows for evaluation of gastrointestinal diameter and aids in investigation of gastrointestinal wall thickness.