Anatomic, computed tomographic, and ultrasonographic assessment of the lymph nodes in presumed healthy adult cats: the abdomen, pelvis, and hindlimb



bstract Background The computed tomography (CT) and ultrasonography (US) features of lymph nodes of the abdomen, pelvis, and hindlimb in healthy cats are poorly described in the current literature. A prospective anatomic and reference interval study was therefore performed. The lymph nodes of six feline cadavers were identified, and dimensions were measured (length, width, and height). The lymph nodes from 30 healthy adult cats were identified and measured using CT (pre- and postcontrast) and US. The identification and dimensions of the separate lymph nodes were compared between imaging techniques and the anatomic study. Results The identification of lymph nodes was most frequent in CT, and the dimensions were overall larger than those identified and measured in US and the anatomic study. The caudal epigastric and sacral lymph nodes were not identified in the anatomic study. The ischiatic, lumbar aortic, internal iliac, and caudal epigastric lymph nodes were not visualized in US. The height presented the main statistical differences among techniques. The lymph nodes were mainly homogeneous in pre- and postcontrast CT and US images. Some lymph nodes showed a hyperattenuating periphery with a hypoattenuating center (on pre- and postcontrast images) and a hypo-/isoechoic periphery with a hyperechoic center, representing the hilar fat. The lymph nodes were commonly elongated and rounded except for the jejunal lymph nodes, which had an irregular shape. Conclusions The assessment of most of the abdominal, pelvic, and hindlimb lymph nodes in the cat is feasible using CT and US, with CT performing best. Factors like the amount of adipose tissue and contrast administration subjectively improved the lymph node visualization and assessment. The measurements and features reported are proposed as reference values.
Date made available15 Aug 2022

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