A large proportion of dogs undergoing computed tomography are anaesthetised and receive concurrent supplementary oxygen. Both factors promote the development of pulmonary atelectasis, which may mask or mimic lung pathology and compromise image quality, which is of concern to the radiologist. The aim of the study was firstly to determine whether significant atelectasis would develop using a commonly employed anaesthetic protocol in a typical hospital setting, especially where dogs may have been anaesthetised in lateral recumbency prior to scanning. Secondly, to determine whether a change in body position to sternal recumbency would be sufficient to resolve atelectasis.
Six healthy adult Beagles were anaesthetised in sternal recumbency and using a breath-hold technique, baseline helical transverse thoracic images were acquired. Dogs were then placed in either right or left lateral recumbency for 30 minutes, with scans performed at predetermined lung lobe locations and time intervals. Dogs were then repositioned in sternal recumbency for a further 20 minutes, with similar scans performed. The study was repeated two weeks later in the opposite lateral recumbency. Changes in Hounsfield units and cross-sectional area of all lung lobes were measured.
Lateral recumbency did not result in true atelectasis in healthy Beagles of normal body condition. Infrequently, patchy increased attenuation, which failed to resolve completely during sternal recumbency, was visualised in the left cranial lobe during left lateral recumbency. The degree of attenuation changes in healthy Beagles was minimal, and thus if dogs were anaesthetised in lateral recumbency prior to computed tomography, this should not preclude scanning.
Dissertation (MMedVet)--University of Pretoria, 2016.