ISSN 2398-2950      

Radiology: lungs

ffelis
Contributor(s):

Fraser J McConnell


Introduction

  • Radiography allows assessment of lung size, position and density.

Radiographic considerations

  • The lateral projection   Radiography: thorax  is often used as a sole projection for thoracic radiography but this in fact provides poor detail of the dependent lung.
  • If lateral projections are used, eg in the identification of pulmonary metastases, both laterals should be taken.
  • Orthogonal views should be taken to locate the 3-dimensional position of a lesion.
  • Ventrodorsal projections allow better visualization of the lung fields (especially accessory lobe) than the DV.
  • DV projection has a more consistent shape to the cardiac silhouette and gives better visualization of the caudal lobe blood vessels.
  • The lung fields provide an inherent contrast within the thorax - a high KVp mAs should be used to maximize the range of densities available of pulmonary radiographs.

Use as short an exposure time as possible to minimize movement blur.

  • A table top technique and detail film-sheet combination should be used.
  • Exposure is normally made at the point of maximal inspiration.
  • Expiratory films are occasionally useful to document small pneumothoraces and air trapping.
  • Care should be taken to include the entire pulmonary field.

Restraint

  • Examination is normally performed under sedation but heavily sedated animals may have poor inspiratory volumes making it impossible to obtain a view of a truly inflated lung.
  • The VD projection should be avoided if there is a large volume of pleural fluid.

Most dyspneic animals will lie quietly in sternal recumbency for a DV projection with minimal restraint and no sedation.

  • A horizontal beam may be used in dyspneic animals to give a lateral projection.

Stressful handling of dyspneic animals may result in fatal decompensation.

Indications

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Radiographic anatomy

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Interpretation

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Pitfalls

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Additional studies

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lamb C R & Neiger R (2000) Radiology corner: differential diagnosis of pulmonary cavitary lesions. Vet Rad Ultra 41 (4), 340-341 PubMed.

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