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Use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound for assessment of nodular lymphoid hyperplasia (NLH) in canine spleen

Mangano, Cyndi, Macrì, Francesco, Di Pietro, Simona, Pugliese, Michela, Santoro, Silvia, Iannelli, Nicola M., Mazzullo, Giuseppe, Crupi, Rosalia, De Majo, Massimo
BMC veterinary research 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 196
blood, cell biology, dogs, histology, hyperplasia, image analysis, observational studies, phospholipids, spleen, sulfur hexafluoride, ultrasonography, veterinary medicine
BACKGROUND: Nodular lymphoid hyperplasia (NLH) is one of the most common non-neoplastic splenic lesions in dogs, especially in old ones, showing a splenic enlargement. More recent studies have been focused on Contrast Enhanced Ultrasonography (CEUS) analysis of the spleen for establishing normal perfusion patterns and blood pool phase peculiarities of focal lesions. The aim of the study was to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative CEUS analysis of the canine splenic NLH, characterizing the CEUS pattern of this pathology on 20 clinical cases. RESULTS: A prospective, observational study was performed using a system equipped with contrast-tuned imaging technology. Mechanical Index was set from 0.08 to 0.11; the contrast medium was a second generation contrast medium composed of sulphur hexafluoride encapsulated of a shell of phospholipids (SonoVue®). Qualitative and quantitative assessment of the enhancement pattern of splenic NLH were performed. Cytology and histology identified 20 splenic NLH. All of the benign hyperplastic lesions assessed were isoechoic with a homogeneous pattern than the surrounding normal spleen, during the wash-in phase (10–20 s) of the CEUS exam. Before finishing the wash-in phase, 20–45 s from the contrast medium inoculation, 19/20 benign nodules became markedly hypoechoic to the adjacent spleen. Sensitivity of hypoechoic pattern for NLH was 95%. CONCLUSIONS: These findings should prove useful in the evaluation of focal splenic masses in dogs. Since enhancement and perfusion patterns of NLH seem to coincide with some neoplastic lesions of the spleen previously reported, in clinical practice attention must be paid to the final diagnosis of canine splenic lesions using only the CEUS exam.