Characterization of hepatic masses in dogs with CT scans and ultrasound exam

27 August 2018 – News

As dogs age, they can develop benign hepatic masses. Fortunately, few of these require special treatment but some do and it is important to be able to distinguish them from benign neoplastic growths.

CT scans and ultrasounds can be used to characterize hepatic masses and highlight the distinction between benign and malignant lesions. This study attempted to characterize the most helpful variables, while investigating hepatic masses. It also aimed to determine which exam technique offered the highest level of accuracy.

506 client-owned dogs were submitted for pre-trial CT scans to search for hepatic masses. Of those, 44 dogs with these masses were enrolled in the study. They were given a triphasic CT scan, followed by B-mode, color flow Power Doppler ultrasound exam. A histological examination (punch biopsy/excision or ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy) was then made to confirm the previous exams.

By using two variables from the CT scan, the authors were able to achieve an accuracy of 93.5% and an analysis for the presence of cavitation inside the mass on the ultrasound was found to have an accuracy of 80.4%. While not replacing histological examination, it is clear that equations that include 2 measurements from the triphasic CT scan can aid in the diagnosis of hepatic masses.

In Evaluation of canine hepatic masses by use of triphasic computed tomography and B-mode, color flow, power, and pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasonography and correlation with histopathologic classification Erin R. Griebie et al. American Journal of Veterinary Research 2017