Computed tomography as an aid in the diagnosis of chronic nasal disease in dogs

Lefebvre J, Kuehn NF, Wortinger A.

J Small Anim Pract 2005;46:280-285.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the use of computed tomography (CT) in the diagnosis of chronic nasal disease in dogs. METHODS: A retrospective study of 85 dogs with chronic nasal discharge due to primary nasal disease, which had undergone nasal CT and biopsy, was carried out. Medical records were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs, CT findings, endoscopic findings and histopathology. The results obtained via CT were correlated with nasal histopathology and gross anatomical observations were recorded at the time of rhinoscopy. RESULTS: Neoplasia was diagnosed in 37 dogs for which CT typically revealed a soft tissue density associated with extensive turbinate destruction. Inflammatory rhinitis was diagnosed in 40 dogs. CT disclosed either normal turbinate structures or mild to moderate turbinate destruction, with or without the presence of soft tissue densities (mucopus) within the nasal passages. Fungal rhinitis was diagnosed in seven dogs for which CT disclosed extensive turbinate destruction with hyperlucency of the nasal passages. One dog had normal CT and histopathology findings. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: CT greatly enhanced the ability to diagnose chronic nasal disease in dogs, providing detailed Information regarding the extent of the disease, accurate discrimination of neoplastic versus non-neoplastic diseases, and identification of areas of the nose to examine rhinoscopically and suspicious regions to target for biopsy.