Computed Tomographic Angiography under Sedation in the Diagnosis of Suspected Canine Pancreatitis: A Pilot Study

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Computed tomography (CT) is highly accurate for diagnosing pancreatitis in humans. The diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs is based on clinical signs, laboratory findings, and ultrasonographic (US) changes. There are, however, inherent limitations in relying on laboratory and ultrasound findings for the clinical diagnosis of pancreatitis in dogs.


We hypothesized that CT angiography would be a rapid and reliable method to confirm pancreatitis in dogs compared to ultrasonography. The aim was to describe the CT characteristics and compare them to ultrasound findings and correlate the CT appearance to the severity of the patients' clinical course.


A prospective pilot case series; 10 dogs with pancreatitis were enrolled if the history, clinical signs, laboratory, and ultrasonographic findings were indicative of pancreatitis.


A 3-phase angiographic CT was performed under sedation. Afterward, each dog had US-guided aspirates of the pancreas collected and blood drawn for cPLi assay. Images were evaluated for portion of visible pancreas, pancreatic size and margin, pancreatic parenchyma, presence of peripancreatic changes and contrast enhancement pattern. The results were compared with outcome.


An enlarged, homogeneously to heterogeneously attenuating and contrast-enhancing pancreas with ill-defined borders was identified in all dogs. CT identified more features characterizing pancreatic abnormalities compared to US. Thrombi were found in 3/10 dogs. Three dogs with heterogeneous contrast enhancement had an overall poorer outcome than those with homogenous enhancement.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance:

CT angiography under sedation was used in dogs to confirm clinically suspected pancreatitis and identified clinically relevant and potentially prognostic features of pancreatitis in dogs.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles