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Ultrasonography is insensitive but specific for detecting aortic wall abnormalities in dogs infected with Spirocerca lupi
  1. Nadav Merhavi1,
  2. Gilad Segev2,
  3. Eran Dvir3 and
  4. Dana Peery4
  1. 1Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
  2. 2Internal Medicine, The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
  3. 3Tel Hai College, Tel Hai, Upper Galilee, Israel
  4. 4Veterinart Diagnostic Imaging, The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nadav Merhavi, Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel; nadavet26{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Background Spirocercosis is caused by the nematode Spirocerca lupi (S lupi). The disease mainly affects dogs and is typically diagnosed by oesophagoscopy or faecal examination; however, these diagnostic tests may deliver false negative results during the migration phase of the nematode. The aim of the present prospective study was to evaluate whether ultrasonography could detect abnormalities in the abdominal aorta, celiac artery, and gastric wall structure as a diagnostic aid to detect S lupi infection in dogs.

Methods Oesophagoscopy and a focused abdominal ultrasound scan were performed in 40 dogs that presented to the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with gastrointestinal complaints. Ultrasonography scan findings of 20 dogs with oesophageal nodules, indicating S lupi infection (study group), were compared with those of 20 control dogs.

Results Vascular wall irregularity was significantly more common in the study group than in the control group (9/20 v 1/20, respectively; P=0.008).

Conclusion Ultrasonographic evaluation of the abdominal aorta, celiac artery, and gastric wall structure is not a sensitive diagnostic marker for spirocercosis in dogs. However, the presence of vascular wall irregularity of the abdominal aorta or celiac artery might indicate S lupi migration.

  • spirocerca
  • aorta
  • aneurysm
  • ultrasound
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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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