Computed Tomographic Features Of Pharyngeal Neoplasia In 25 Dogs

Carozzi G, Zotti A, Alberti M, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2015;56:628-637.

Computed tomography (CT) is commonly used to investigate head tumors in dogs, however little information is available for lesions of the pharyngeal area. The purpose of this multicentric, retrospective, cross-sectional study was to describe the CT findings in a sample of dogs with pathologically confirmed pharyngeal neoplasia and determine whether any CT features allowed differentiation of tumor type. Location of lesions, size and shape, margins, relationship with surrounding structures and vessels, attenuation characteristics and enhancement pattern, regional lymph node changes, and presence of metastasis were recorded by three observers (1 DECVDI). The effect of final diagnosis on each CT feature was tested. A total of 25 dogs were included: 15 with carcinomas, five sarcomas, four melanomas, and one lymphoma. The oropharynx and laryngopharynx were more frequently involved. Among tumor groups, lesions were of similar size, irregularly shaped, had ill-defined margins, and had moderate-to-marked heterogeneous contrast enhancement. Lysis of hyoid bones was recorded in two carcinomas and infiltration of the lingual artery occurred in one case. Marked medial retropharyngeal lymphoadenomegaly was recorded in 11 of 14 carcinomas, in all sarcomas and in two of four melanomas. The single lymphoma case showed ill-defined thickening of the oropharyngeal and laryngeal wall with retropharyngeal and mandibular lymphadenomegaly. Lung metastases were found in two of five sarcomas and two of four melanomas. Findings from the current study did not support the hypothesis that CT features could be used to predict pharyngeal tumor type in dogs. However, CT was helpful for determining mass extension, lymph node involvement, and distant metastatic spread.