Computed tomographic changes associated with the prepatent and early patent phase of dirofilariasis in an experimentally infected dog

Seiler GS, Nolan TJ, Withnall E, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2010;51:136-140.

Evolution of pulmonary arterial and parenchymal changes as assessed with computed tomography (CT) is described in a dog experimentally infected with Dirofilaria immitis. The dog was imaged 125, 168, 216, and 402 days after infection. Initial changes during the prepatent phase of infection included enlargement of the peripheral caudal lobar pulmonary arteries and intermittent periarterial interstitial infiltrates. The changes were progressive, involving additional arteries over time, but remained mild. With the presence of adult filariae a filling defect was observed in the caudal lobar pulmonary artery using CT angiography. Recognizing thoracic CT findings associated with the prepatent phase of canine heartworm infection may be important in endemic areas.