Radiographic appearance of cardiogenic pulmonary oedema in 23 cats

Benigni, L and Morgan, N and Lamb, C R (2009) Radiographic appearance of cardiogenic pulmonary oedema in 23 cats. JOURNAL OF SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE, 50 (1). pp. 9-14.

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Abstract

Objective: To describe the radiographic appearance of pulmonary oedema in cats with cardiac failure. Methods: Thoracic radiographs of 23 cats presented to a first opinion practice with signs of cardiac failure were reviewed. All cats had tachypnoea and/or dyspnoea and enlarged left atrium on echocardiography. Results: Pulmonary oedema was characterised radiographically by an increased opacity associated with a range of patterns and variable distribution. All cats had evidence of a reticular or granular interstitial pattern. This occurred in combination with alveolar pattern in 19 (83 per cent) cats, including six with air bronchograms, with increased diameter of pulmonary vessels in 16 (71 per cent) cats and with bronchial pattern in 14 (61 per cent) cats. The distribution of pulmonary oedema was considered to be diffuse/non-uniform in 14 (61 per cent) cats, diffuse/uniform in four (17 per cent) cats, multi-focal in four (17 per cent) cats and focal in the remaining one (4 per cent). Nine (39 per cent) cats were considered to have a regional distribution of oedema, including five (22 per cent) with a ventral distribution, three (13 per cent) with a caudal distribution and one (4 per cent) cat with a hilar distribution. The distribution of pulmonary opacities was bilaterally symmetrical in five (22 per cent) cats. Clinical Significance: The variable appearance of feline pulmonary oedema is likely to complicate its radiographic diagnosis.