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Companion Animal Practice
Radiological assessment of lung disease in small animals
  1. Ruth Dennis

    Ruth Dennis graduated from Cambridge in 1981. After spending three years in general practice, she returned to Cambridge to specialise in radiology, and in 1992 moved to the Animal Health Trust. She holds the RCVS diploma in veterinary radiology, and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and an active member of the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. Her particular interests are radiology and MRI in small animals.

1. Bronchial and vascular patterns


INTERPRETATION of thoracic radiographs is often challenging, even to the extent of differentiating normal from abnormal images. Overlooking significant lung pathology is clearly a problem but, conversely, over-reading of radiographs can lead to false positive diagnoses, with potentially serious consequences for the patient. Problems can arise from suboptimal image quality, variations in appearance due to technical or patient factors and non-specificity of radiographic changes. This article demystifies some of the principles surrounding interpretation of lung radiographs to help the reader gain greater confidence in interpreting thoracic films. An article in the next issue will consider alveolar, interstitial and mixed lung patterns, nodules, masses and pulmonary mineralisation, and discuss the causes of decreased pulmonary opacity.

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