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Contrast‐enhanced ultrasound complements two‐dimensional ultrasonography in diagnosing gallbladder diseases in dogs

Bargellini, Paolo, Orlandi, Riccardo, Paloni, Chiara, Rubini, Giuseppe, Fonti, Paolo, Righi, Cecilia, Peterson, Mark E., Rishniw, Mark, Boiti, Cristiano
Veterinary radiology & ultrasound 2018 v.59 no.3 pp. 345-356
cholecystitis, dogs, edema, false positive results, gall bladder, hyperplasia, necrosis, neoplasms, planning, sludge, ultrasonography
Gall‐bladder diseases are common in dogs and two‐dimensional ultrasonography is a current standard method for diagnosis and treatment planning. However, findings from this modality can be nonspecific. The aim of this retrospective, case series study was to describe conventional and contrast‐enhanced ultrasound (using SonoVue®) findings in a group of dogs with histologically confirmed gall bladder disease. A total of 65 dogs were included. Branchlike, heterogeneous, and homogeneous contrast enhancement of echogenic intraluminal mass‐forming lesions was a contrast‐enhanced ultrasound characteristic of polypoid lesions due to cystic mucosal hyperplasia of the gallbladder and/or tumor, which had different wash‐in and washout characteristics. In dogs with mobile or immobile biliary sludge or mucocele, the echogenic intraluminal masses remained unenhanced. A double rim mark or enhancement defect in the gallbladder wall was a characteristic of edema or necrosis/rupture of the wall, respectively. Conventional ultrasonography correctly identified biliary sludge or mucocele in 36/37 dogs, cholecystitis/edema in 44/47 dogs, necrosis/rupture in 19/25 dogs, and gallbladder neoplasia in three of three dogs with these pathologies. It falsely identified biliary sludge or mucocele in eight of 28 dogs, cholecystitis/edema in three of 15 dogs, necrosis/rupture in 13/37 dogs, and gall‐bladder neoplasia in 20/59 dogs that did not have these pathologies. Contrast‐enhanced ultrasound correctly identified cholecystitis/edema in 42/47 dogs, but falsely identified cholecystitis/edema in three of 18 dogs. It correctly identified necrosis/rupture, benign polypoid lesions, and gallbladder neoplasia in all dogs with no false‐positive results. Findings supported contrast‐enhanced ultrasound as a complement to conventional ultrasonography for dogs with suspected gallbladder pathologies such as edema, necrosis, and rupture.