Aortic and cardiac mineralization in the dog

Schwarz T, Sullivan M, Stork CK, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2002;43:419-427.

Aortic and cardiac mineralization was found in 21 of 3443 (0.61%) canine thoracic radiographs. In none of 786 feline thoracic radiographs reviewed were such lesions present. Mineralizations were superimposed on the ascending aorta (19 dogs) or on the caudal cardiac silhouette (2 dogs). In 2 of 4 dogs mineralization was identified echocardiographically dorsal to the aortic valve in close proximity to coronary arteries. Computed tomography confirmed mineralization of the aortic arch and root in 2 of 2 dogs. Necropsy and histopathologic examination in 1 dog revealed multiple nodular aortic tunica media calcifications with adjacent areas of degeneration. Lesions were significantly overrepresented in older dogs and in Rottweilers, and regarded as dystrophic calcification, caused either by age-related degenerative changes or chronic disease-related processes. There was no evidence of clinical significance attributed to the mineralization in any dog. Aortic and cardiac mineralization should be recognized as an incidental, non-significant finding in dogs of advanced age and differentiated from pleural and pulmonary structures.