ISSN 2398-2950      

Computed tomography: angiography

ffelis
Contributor(s):

Tobias Schwarz

Randi Drees

Synonym(s): CT: vascular


Introduction

  • Vascular diseases are rare in cats but do require a sophisticated diagnostic work-up.
  • Diagnostic imaging is essential in the work-up of cats with suspected vascular disease.
  • Traditionally, vascular imaging work-up was done with selected fluoroscopic angiography or ultrasound.
  • Computed tomography allows complete assessment of all vascular beds (arterial, venous, portal venous) in the thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavity, as well as other body parts within a few minutes.
  • Computed tomography uses ionizing radiation, therefore particular health and safety measures apply.

Uses

  • Acute hyperpnea without other signs of respiratory disease.
  • Investigate swelling of suspected vascular origin.
  • Evidence of hemorrhage.
  • Seizure like activities combined with abdominal disease.
  • Microhepatia.
  • Edematous neck swelling.
  • Elevated bile acids.
  • Ascites.

Vascular conditions diagnosable with CT

Advantages

  • Detailed assessment of the entire vascular bed.
  • Not as operator dependent as ultrasound.
  • Gastrointestinal gas does not interfere with diagnosis as in ultrasound.
  • Can be done under sedation only with modern CT units.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive equipment that requires 3-phase power supply, dedicated room.
  • Emits ionizing radiation, patients cannot be handheld be personnel.
  • Patients need to be safely constrained, usually requires at least sedation.
  • For some specific small vessels, catheterization and selective angiography during interventional procedure is needed. CT is not yet always the most practical modality for this.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Oliveira C R, Ranallo F N, Pijanowski G J, Mitchell M A, O’Brien M A, McMichael M, Hartman S K, Matheson J S, O’Brien R T (2011) The VetmouseTrapTM: a device for computed tomographic imaging of the thorax of awake cats. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 52, 41-52 PubMed.  

Other sources of information

  • Schwarz T & Saunders J (2011) Veterinary Computed Tomography. Ames: Wiley-Blackwell.

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