Publications by authors named "Massimo Vignoli"

47 Publications

Contrast enhanced computed tomography assessment of superficial inguinal lymph node metastasis in canine mammary gland tumors.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUT), Thessaloniki, Greece.

Mammary gland neoplasms are predominant in dogs. However, sentinel lymph node (SLN) status assessment criteria have not been established for these cases. In this retrospective, secondary analysis, diagnostic case control study, CT images of 65 superficial inguinal SLNs were obtained before and 1, 3, 5, and 10 min after intravenous administration of contrast agent (iopamidol 370 mgI/mL). The presence and degree of postcontrast enhancement were assessed, by means of the median absolute density value and the maximum absolute density value at any time point in the center and in the periphery of each SLN measured in Hounsfield units (HU), before and after contrast agent administration. These values were compared with histopathological findings postsurgical excision. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was conducted. The absolute density values ranged widely at each time point and within each group of nodes (negative, positive, control group). At all time points, the median density value in the center and in the periphery was significantly higher in metastatic than in non-metastatic SLNs (P ≤ .014). Among the parameters tested, the median absolute density value measured in the periphery of the SLN 3 min after injection showed the highest sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy (AUC) (87.5%, 82.1%, and 92.1% respectively), with a cutoff value of 50.9 HU. The maximum absolute density value at any time point in the center and periphery of the SLNs was also significantly higher in metastatic SLNs compared to non-metastatic (P ≤ .001). With a cutoff value of 59.5 HU, the maximum absolute density value in the periphery of the SLN displayed high sensitivity and specificity (87.5% and 89.3%, respectively). The results of this study support the hypothesis that contrast enhanced CT imaging may aid in the assessment of SLN metastasis in dogs with mammary gland neoplasms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.13002DOI Listing
June 2021

Elastosonographic features of the metacarpophalangeal joint capsule in horses.

BMC Vet Res 2021 May 29;17(1):202. Epub 2021 May 29.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Loc. Piano D'Accio, 64100, Teramo, Italy.

Background: Capsulitis leads to the release of inflammatory mediators in the joint, causing capsular fibrosis and osteoarthritis (OA). Strain elastosonography (SE) measures the elasticity of tissue by evaluating its strain in operator-dependent deformation. The aims of the study were to assess the feasibility, repeatability, and reproducibility of SE for imaging the distal attachment of the joint capsule (DJC) of metacarpophalangeal joints in sound horses (Group S) and in horses with metacarpophalangeal OA (Group P) and to evaluate differences in the elastosonographic patterns of these horses. After a whole lameness examination, fore fetlock DJCs were assigned to Group S and Group P and were thereafter examined by two operators using SE. Qualitative (i.e., colour grading score) and semi-quantitative (i.e., elasticity index (EI) and strain ratio (SR)) methods were used to evaluate the elastograms. The inter-rater reliability (IRR), intraclass correlation coefficient (intra-CC) and interclass correlation coefficient (inter-CC) were used to compare colour grading scores and the repeatability and reproducibility of EI and SR outcomes. The same parameters were compared between groups. P < 0.05 indicated a significant finding.

Results: Forty-one horses were included: 11 were in Group S and 30 were in Group P (16 with bilateral OA, 8 with left OA and 6 with right OA). IRR outcomes ranged from good to excellent. For transverse and longitudinal ultrasound scans, the colour grading score of Group S was significantly higher than the metacarpophalangeal DJCs of Group P. Both Inter-CC and intra-CC were higher in Group S than in Group P, with values always > 0.8. Significative differences in EI and SR were detected between groups and between Group S and the affected limb of Group P; values were lower in Group S than in Group P.

Conclusions: SE can be a useful technique for evaluating DJCs, with good repeatability and reproducibility. DJCs appear softer in sound horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-021-02897-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8164309PMC
May 2021

Lymphatic Drainage Mapping with Indirect Lymphography for Canine Mammary Tumors.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Apr 13;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Mammary gland tumors are the most common canine neoplasms. They account for 25-50% of all tumors diagnosed in bitches. Metastases and recurrences develop in about 35-70% of bitches following excision. The presence of regional lymph node metastases is a relevant factor affecting prognosis and treatment in cases of mammary gland tumors. The sentinel lymph node (SLN) is the first lymph node (or nodes) in the regional lymphatic basin that receives lymphatic flow from the primary neoplasm. The aim of this study is to investigate the SLN with indirect lymphography for a mammary tumor in dogs. The knowledge of the precise drainage pattern and SLN of the neoplastic mammary glands would provide clinically relevant information to the surgeon and to the oncologist, and it would be of high importance for the surgeon not only for performing the most adequate surgical excision but also for determining an accurate post-surgical prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11041115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070006PMC
April 2021

Clinical Value of CT-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration and Tissue-Core Biopsy of Thoracic Masses in the Dog and Cat.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Mar 19;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Diagnosis of thoracic lesions on the basis of history and physical examination is often challenging. Diagnostic imaging is therefore of paramount importance in this field. Radiology has traditionally been considered the diagnostic procedure of choice for these diseases. Nevertheless, it is often not possible to differentiate inflammatory/infectious lesions from neoplastic diseases. A correct cytological and histopathologic diagnosis is therefore needed for an accurate diagnosis and subsequent prognostic and therapeutic approach. In human medicine, Computed Tomography (CT) and CT-guided biopsy are used in the presence of lesions which are not adequately diagnosed with other procedures. In the present study, thoracic lesions from 52 dogs and 10 cats of different sex, breed and size underwent both CT-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNAB) and tissue-core biopsy (TCB). Clinical examination, hematobiochemical analysis and chest radiography were performed on all animals. In this study, 59 of 62 histopathological samples were diagnostic (95.2%). Cytology was diagnostic in 43 of 62 samples (69.4%). General sensitivity, accuracy and PPV for FNAB and TCB were 67.7%, 67.7% and 100% and 96.7%, 95.2% and 98.3%, respectively. Combining the two techniques, the overall mean accuracy for diagnosis was 98.4%. Nineteen of 62 cases showed complications (30.6%). Mild pneumothorax was seen in 16 cases, whereas mild hemorrhage occurred in three cases. No major complications were encountered. CT-guided FNAB cytology can be considered a useful and reliable technique, especially for small lesions or lesions located close to vital organs and therefore dangerous to biopsy in other way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003793PMC
March 2021

B-Mode and Contrast Enhanced Ultrasonography Features of Gastric Inflammatory and Neoplastic Diseases in Dogs.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Mar 3;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, SP 18, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Canine gastric disorders are common in veterinary clinical practice and among these neoplasms require rapid identification and characterization. Standard ultrasound (US) is the imaging modality of choice for gastric wall assessment. The aim of this prospective study is to describe the specific B-mode and contrast enhanced US (CEUS) features of normal, inflammatory, and neoplastic gastric wall in dogs. B-mode US and CEUS of the stomach were performed in anesthetized dogs with or without gastric disorders. Gastric wall qualitative and quantitative parameters were evaluated on B-mode US and CEUS examination. A total of 41 dogs were included: 6 healthy (HEA) as the control group; 9 gastritis (INF); 8 adenocarcinoma (AC); 8 alimentary lymphoma (AL); 4 leiomyosarcoma (LEIS); 2 gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); 2 leiomyoma; 1 undifferentiated sarcoma; 1 metastatic gastric hemangiosarcoma. Gastric tumors appear as a marked wall thickness with absent layers definition and possible regional lymphadenopathy (AC and AL) and steatitis (AC) while gastritis generally shows no/mild thickening and no other alterations on B-mode US. On CEUS, neoplasm shows a higher and faster wash in if compared to that of gastritis. B-mode and CEUS assessment may be useful in the evaluation of canine gastric disorders in the distinction between gastritis and gastric neoplasms, even if there are no specific features able to discriminate between the different tumor histotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030670DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998525PMC
March 2021

Computed Tomography Evaluation of Normal Canine Abdominal Lymph Nodes: Retrospective Study of Size and Morphology According to Body Weight and Age in 45 Dogs.

Vet Sci 2021 Mar 7;8(3). Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

The morphological characteristics of the largest lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes of the body have been described through ultrasonography, although food and gas in the gastrointestinal tract can often have negative effects on the response of small abdominal structures. The aim of the study was to describe the size of normal abdominal lymph nodes (ALs) in dogs affected by disease, not including lymphadenomegaly or lymphadenopathy, and divided according to body weight and age. The ALs studied included the jejunal, medial iliac, portal, gastric, splenic, and pancreaticoduodenal lymph nodes. Statistical correlation considering body weight and age as continuous variables showed that all measurements of the ALs increased according to body weight changes ( < 0.01). The most reliable values were the volume measurements ( < 0.001) compared to the length, thickness, and width. Mixed results emerged from a comparison of weight categories and age; only the jejunal lymph nodes showed a significant correlation ( < 0.05). Other characteristics (shape, attenuation, and enhancement) are subsequently reported. The resulting data can be used to categorize CT measurements of normal ALs displayed based on the body weight and age of the subjects. This study aimed to propose a new parameter of normalcy that may serve as a reference for the evaluation of infectious or neoplastic events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vetsci8030044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999630PMC
March 2021

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging of Prostate Gland in Neutered Dogs.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Feb 20;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples, Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy.

Prostatic neoplasia (PN) occurs in 5-7% of dogs with prostatic disease, with castrated dogs having the same or higher prevalence when compared to intact dogs. Considering the promising results achieved by performing contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in intact dogs to detect PN, the present study aimed to acquire data on the prostatic perfusion pattern in neutered dogs. CEUS was performed in 64 neutered dogs, using a 5-7.5 MHz linear transducer with coded harmonic capability, dedicated analytical software, and a second-generation contrast agent, SonoVue. After B-mode evaluation was performed to assess mean prostate volume, the CEUS examination was undertaken. The flow of contrast agent was visible 10 s after injection. The subcapsular vessels were highlighted and produced rapid peripheral rim enhancement. Subsequently, the contrast agent reached the prostatic urethra via the parenchymal arterioles and gradually reached the entire prostate. Perfusion peak intensity (PPI) and time to peak (TTP) values were respectively 45.3% and 34.1 s. The measured parameters were compared with those obtained in previous studies on intact dogs with normal and with pathological patterns. In this study, CEUS showed features that may be promising for its use as a diagnostic tool for early detection of PN in neutered dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11020559DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924405PMC
February 2021

Vertebral Formulae and Congenital Vertebral Anomalies in Guinea Pigs: A Retrospective Radiographic Study.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Feb 24;11(3). Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano D'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

The objectives of this retrospective study of 240 guinea pigs (148 females and 92 males) were to determine the prevalence of different vertebral formulae and the type and anatomical localization of congenital vertebral anomalies (CVA). Radiographs of the cervical (C), thoracic (Th), lumbar (L), sacral (S), and caudal (Cd) part of the vertebral column were reviewed. Morphology and number of vertebrae in each segment of the vertebral column and type and localization of CVA were recorded. In 210/240 guinea pigs (87.50%) with normal vertebral morphology, nine vertebral formulae were found with constant number of C but variable number of Th, L, and S vertebrae: C7/Th13/L6/S4/Cd5-7 (75%), C7/Th13/L6/S3/Cd6-7 (4.17%), C7/Th13/L5/S4/Cd6-7 (2.50%), C7/Th13/L6/S5/Cd5-6 (1.67%), C7/Th12/L6/S4/Cd6 (1.25%), C7/Th13/L7/S4/Cd6 (1.25%), C7/Th13/L7/S3/Cd6-7 (0.83%), C7/Th12/L7/S4/Cd5 (0.42%), C7/Th13/L5/S5/Cd7 (0.42%). CVA were found in 30/240 (12.5%) of guinea pigs, mostly as a transitional vertebra (28/30), which represents 100% of single CVA localised in cervicothoracic (n = 1), thoracolumbar (n = 22) and lumbosacral segments (n = 5). Five morphological variants of thoracolumbar transitional vertebrae (TTV) were identified. Two (2/30) guinea pigs had a combination of CVA: cervical block vertebra and TTV (n = 1) and TTV and lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LTV) (n = 1). These findings suggest that guinea pigs' vertebral column displays more morphological variants with occasional CVA predominantly transitional vertebrae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995982PMC
February 2021

Triple-Phase Multidetector Computed Tomography in Distinguishing Canine Hepatic Lesions.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Dec 23;11(1). Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano D'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

The liver has a unique vascular supply, and triple-phase contrast-enhanced computed tomography examinations are being performed in order to characterize liver lesions. This study aimed to look for any associations between the attenuation values of liver lesions and their histological classification. The inclusion criteria for this retrospective study were focal or multifocal liver lesions and histological diagnosis. All of the dogs underwent pre-contrast and triple-phase postcontrast computed tomography (CT) examinations with identical timings of the postcontrast series. Thirty-one dogs were included in the study, and various benign and malignant pathologies were identified. The results did not identify any significant differences between the benign and malignant liver lesions, nor between the individual histological diagnoses. Inflammatory lesions were significantly different compared to the normal liver parenchyma, and significant hypoattenuation was found in the portal and delayed venous phases. Hemangiosarcomas were significantly hypoattenuating to the normal liver parenchyma in the pre-contrast and arterial phases, and also to all of the benign lesions in the arterial phase. The other pathologies showed variable attenuation patterns in the different postcontrast phases, and differentiation was not possible. On the basis of this study, triple-phase contrast-enhanced computed tomography cannot differentiate between benign and malignant liver lesions, and biopsy and further histological analysis are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11010011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823275PMC
December 2020

Sonoelastography of Normal Canine Common Calcaneal Tendon: Preliminary Results.

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2021 May 10;34(3):200-205. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano D'Accio, Teramo, Italy.

Shear wave elastography (SWE) is a feasible and newly developed ultrasonographic technique which is able to assess elasticity of tissues. The aim of this work was to assess the feasibility of SWE on the normal canine common calcaneal tendon (CCT) evaluating the intra-operator repeatability and reproducibility of single measurements and stiffness of different anatomic CCT portions was examined. Tendons were first evaluated with B-mode ultrasound with a linear probe 8.5 to 10 MHz in longitudinal section with slight flexed tarsocrural joint and a gel-pad. Common calcaneal tendon was divided into three different anatomical regions. Shear wave elastography was performed in each region by two operators and quantitative evaluation (m/s and kPa) was performed on the most representative images. Region of interest (0.15 cm) was settled. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) results were classified using the following scale: 0.00 to 0.20 = poor; 0.20 to 0.40 = fair; 0.40 to 075 = good; >0.75 = excellent. Ten adult dogs were enrolled. Intra-operator ICC values were >0.75 for both operators in every tendon portion. Inter-operator SWE ICC values for m/s measurements were 0.3, 0.61 and 0.61 for the enthesis, intermediate portion and the myotendinous junction respectively; for kPa measurements, values were respectively 0.3, 0.7 and 0.81. The three CCT portions were significantly different in stiffness (-value < 0.001 for both m/s and kPa measurements). These preliminary results provide evidence that SWE is potentially appliable to assess mechanical properties of canine CCT affected by tendinopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1721660DOI Listing
May 2021

B-Mode and Contrast Enhanced Ultrasonography Features of Gastric Inflammatory and Neoplastic Diseases in Cats.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Aug 18;10(8). Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, SP 18, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Alimentary lymphoma (AL) is the most common malignancy of the feline gastrointestinal tract and may cause variable mild to severe alteration of the gastric wall on ultrasonography (US) that can be very similar to those caused by inflammation (INF). The aim of this prospective study is to establish the value of B-mode and contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) in describing specific features of normal, inflammatory, and neoplastic gastric diseases in feline species. B-mode US and CEUS of the stomach were performed in anesthetized cats with or without gastric disorders. Gastric wall qualitative and quantitative parameters were evaluated on B-mode US and CEUS examination. A total of 29 cats were included: six healthy (HEA) cats as the control group; nine INF; three low-grade lymphoma (LGAL); 10 high-grade lymphoma (HGAL). On B-mode US, there were significant differences in thickness, the wall's layer definition and echogenicity between HGAL and all the other groups (<0.001). For CEUS, statistical differences between groups were found in the following: HGAL vs. HEA, HGAL vs. INF; HGAL vs. LGAL; INF vs. HEA. Diagnostic accuracy (AUC) and cut-off value were calculated and found to be significant for thickness (3.8 mm) for INF vs. LGAL (AUC > 0.70) and "benign" vs. "malignant" (AUC > 0.90) as well as peak enhancement (34.87 dB) for "benign" vs. "malignant" (AUC > 0.70). INF and LGAL showed an overlap of qualitative and quantitative parameters both on B-mode and CEUS, while HGAL usually appears as a severe wall thickening with absent layer definition, high-contrast uptake, a specific enhancement pattern, regional lymphadenopathy and local steatitis. Thickness and peak enhancement can be useful parameters in the characterization of gastric infiltrates in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10081444DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460435PMC
August 2020

Computed tomography measurements of presumptively normal canine sternal lymph nodes.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Aug 3;16(1):269. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano D'Accio, Italy.

Background: There is a lack of information regarding the CT appearance of sternal lymph nodes in dogs. This retrospective anatomic study was aimed to describe the general appearance of sternal lymph nodes in healthy dogs.

Results: Twenty-seven dogs with no abnormality in blood work, urinalysis and CT images were included in the study. Dogs were divided into three weight groups; ≤10 kg, 10.1 to 30 kg and ≥ 30.1 kg. Multi-planar reconstructions of CT images were made to identify sternal lymph nodes. The number, location, size, density and heterogeneity of sternal lymph nodes were recorded. Density and heterogeneity of lymph nodes were measured on pre- and postcontrast images. Except for one dog, sternal lymph nodes were identified in all the dogs. The mean number of sternal lymph nodes per dog was 2.1 (SD 0.6), and the most frequent localisation was at the level of the second sternebra (23 dogs; 85%). There was a positive correlation between the weight and all the dimensions of sternal lymph nodes. A significant negative correlation was found between the age and dorsoventral dimension of the lymph node. Short-to-long axis ratios were not significantly different between the weight groups. None of the measured dimensions nor the ratio values was significantly different between the medium-sized dogs (10.1 to 30 kg) and the large dogs (≥ 30.1 kg). There was a significant difference between precontrast and postcontrast density and heterogeneity values of sternal lymph nodes.

Conclusions: Based on the results, we recommend using the short-to-long axis ratios for sternal lymph node size evaluation among dogs of different size. Sternal lymph nodes in this study appeared on precontrast examination as heterogeneous, and homogenous on the postcontrast examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02497-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7398397PMC
August 2020

Evaluation of the Spirotome Device for Nasal Tumors Biopsy in Eleven Dogs.

Top Companion Anim Med 2020 Aug 7;40:100436. Epub 2020 May 7.

University of Teramo, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teramo, Italy.

This study evaluated the accuracy and diagnostic quality of histological samples obtained with the Spirotome device on biopsies from dogs affected by canine nasal tumors. Eleven dogs were included in this study. The mean age was 10 years. All biopsies were successfully performed within 15 minutes. All dogs showed nasal bleeding after the biopsies, which was quickly managed by applying intranasal compression with sterile cotton swabs. Bleeding stopped within 10 minutes after sampling. All biopsy samples were considered satisfactory by the pathologist, allowing a proper histological assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tcam.2020.100436DOI Listing
August 2020

A Case of Adenocarcinoma of Uterus Masculinus in a Pomeranian Dog.

Front Vet Sci 2020 16;7:337. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome (PMDS), or uterus masculinus, is a rare autosomal recessive form of male pseudohermaphroditism due to the failure of paracrine anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) secretion by Sertoli cells or failure of the Müllerian ducts to respond to AMH secretion. The malignant degeneration of persistent Müllerian remnants is rare. In human medicine, few related reports exist. In veterinary medicine, this is the first report describing adenocarcinoma of the uterus masculinus involving the prostate in a dog. An 11-year-old, male, neutered Pomeranian dog was referred for computed tomography due to the suspicion of prostatic carcinoma based on ultrasound and cytological examinations. The computed tomography findings were consistent with a uterus masculinus mass with possible prostatic infiltration. Uterus masculinus removal and total prostatectomy were performed; termino-terminal urethral anastomosis was carried out. Dehiscence of the anastomosis was observed 3 days after surgery. The owner declined any further procedures, and the dog was euthanized 5 days after surgery. Histopathological evaluation revealed adenocarcinoma of the uterus masculinus. Adenocarcinoma of the uterus masculinus may occur, suggesting that patients with PMDS should be evaluated for malignant changes of Müllerian remnants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00337DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7309598PMC
June 2020

Controlled field study evaluating the clinical efficacy of a topical formulation containing emodepside and praziquantel in the treatment of natural cat aelurostrongylosis.

Vet Rec 2020 Sep 21;187(5):e34. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Background: is the most important nematode affecting the respiratory tract of cats in terms of prevalence and clinical relevance. The aim of this randomised controlled field study was to confirm the efficacy of the spot-on containing emodepside/praziquantel (Profender, Bayer Animal Health) in the treatment of aelurostrongylosis.

Methods: Seventeen cats with aelurostrongylosis and presenting with clinical and/or radiographic signs were included in the study. Eight cats received two biweekly doses of emodepside/praziquantel, while nine cats were allocated to a control group and received a rescue treatment at the end of the study. Clinical response was the primary outcome, while the secondary end point was the reduction of larval shedding in faeces.

Results: Two weeks after the first application, the cats showed a significant, though partial, recovery of clinical signs with complete clinical and parasitological resolution. The resolution of inflammatory leucogram and a significant reduction of radiographic lesions were observed two weeks after the second treatment. Red blood cells and albumin values significantly increased after eight weeks from the second application, together with the complete regression of radiographic patterns.

Conclusion: Two applications of this spot-on solution two weeks apart assured complete cessation of larval shedding and led to a complete clinical, clinicopathological and radiographic recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.105528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509393PMC
September 2020

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor of the pancreas in a dog.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2019 Nov 4;31(6):879-882. Epub 2019 Oct 4.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

A large, ill-defined, firm, multinodular mass involving the pancreas was confirmed on postmortem examination of a 5-y-old, male Rottweiler that died following acute respiratory distress syndrome, after a period of anorexia and lethargy. Histologically, the mass consisted of plump spindle cells admixed with a variable number of macrophages, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and neutrophils. Foci of coagulative necrosis and hemorrhage were also observed. Spindle cells strongly reacted to antibodies against vimentin, α-smooth muscle actin, and calponin, whereas desmin was expressed only mildly and focally. Pan-cytokeratin, KIT, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and S100 protein were nonreactive. Variable numbers of MAC 387-positive cells, CD3+ lymphocytes, and numerous blood vessels were also detected throughout the mass. Histologic and IHC findings were consistent with a diagnosis of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor of the pancreas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638719879737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900724PMC
November 2019

Prevalence, distribution, and clinical characteristics of hemangiosarcoma-associated skeletal muscle metastases in 61 dogs: A whole body computed tomographic study.

J Vet Intern Med 2019 Mar 22;33(2):812-819. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Service of Diagnostic Imaging, I Portoni Rossi Veterinary Hospital, Zola Predosa, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Skeletal muscle metastases (SMMs) have been described sporadically in canine oncology.

Hypothesis/objectives: To determine the prevalence, localization, and clinical signs of SMMs associated with hemangiosarcoma (HSA) in a population of dogs presented for whole body computed tomography (CT).

Animals: Dogs with a histologically confirmed HSA and a tissue core specimen or fine needle aspirate of suspected metastatic lesions were included in the study.

Methods: Retrospective study. Dogs with a final diagnosis of visceral or muscular HSA that underwent whole body CT scan were enrolled in the study. Final diagnosis of primary tumor and SMMs was reached by histology, cytology, or both. Signalment, clinical signs, localization of the primary lesion, and metastases characteristics were reviewed.

Results: Sixty-one dogs met the inclusion criteria. Skeletal muscle metastases were detected in 15 dogs (24.6%) and all of these dogs had also metastases in ≥1 sites. Presence of SMMs was significantly higher in males but was not significantly related to age, neuter status, breed, localization, and dimensions of the primary tumor. Nine of 15 (60.0%) dogs with SMMs showed lameness or reluctance to move whereas these signs were not recorded in any of the 42 dogs without SMMs (P < .001).

Conclusion And Clinical Importance: Prevalence of SMMs in our population of dogs with HSA was higher in comparison to previous studies in the human and veterinary medical literature. Whole body CT is recommended for staging of dogs with HSA, because SMMs could be missed by clinical examination and traditional diagnostic imaging modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430957PMC
March 2019

Comparison of clinical and imaging findings in cats with single and mixed lungworm infection.

J Feline Med Surg 2019 06 22;21(6):581-589. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teaching Veterinary Hospital, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Objectives: This study has compared clinical and imaging features in 52 cats naturally infected by respiratory nematodes Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, Troglostrongylus brevior and Capillaria aerophila, and in both monospecific and mixed infections.

Methods: Medical records of cats with a lungworm disease were retrospectively reviewed. Cats with clinical examination findings, haematobiochemical analysis and thoracic radiography were included in the study and clinical and radiographic scores were assigned. For eight cats CT of the thorax was also available and analysed. A statistical analysis was performed to investigate the potential correlation between clinical and radiographic score, and to evaluate the effect of age, sex and infection on clinical and radiographic severity.

Results: Monospecific infections by A abstrusus (32/52), T brevior (6/52) and C aerophila (5/52) and coinfections by T brevior/ A abstrusus (7/52), T brevior/ C aerophila (1/52) and A abstrusus/ C aerophila (1/52) were diagnosed. Cats with mixed infections showed higher clinical scores compared with cats with monospecific parasitoses ( P <0.05), while no differences were observed for radiographic scores. No correlation between clinical and radiographic scores was found (r = 0.50), and these scores were not affected by patient age or sex. CT, performed on cats infected with A abstrusus, T brevior or A abstrusus/T brevior, provided additional information in cats with mild radiographic signs.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study indicates that clinical parameters may be more severe in mixed infections than in monospecific parasitoses. A significant correlation between clinical and radiographic score was not detected, while several subclinically infected cats showed radiographic changes. In cats with mild-to-moderate lung patterns, the ventrodorsal/dorsoventral projection showed lesions that are not visible in the lateral projections, especially in the caudal lobes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X18793445DOI Listing
June 2019

Negative hepatic computed tomographic attenuation pattern in a dog with vacuolar hepatopathy and hepatic fat accumulation secondary to cushing's syndrome.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2019 Sep 9;60(5):E54-E57. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Diagnostic Imaging (Vignoli) & Pahology (Della Salda, Romanucci), University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio (TE), 64100, Italy.

This report describes an unusual computed tomographic (CT) hepatic pattern, characterized by negative attenuation values (from -19.59 to -28.85 Hounsfield Units, HU) in a canine patient with severe Cushing's syndrome. Attenuation values of the splenic parenchyma (63.26 HU) and abdominal fat (-118.34 HU) were within normal limits. The negative hepatic attenuation values allowed a CT diagnosis of severe hepatic fatty infiltration that was subsequently confirmed by tissue-core biopsy and histopathological examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12568DOI Listing
September 2019

COMPARISONS AMONG COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHIC FEATURES OF ADIPOSE MASSES IN DOGS AND CATS.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2017 Jan 1;58(1):29-37. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Clinica Veterinaria dell'Orologio, Sasso Marconi, Bologna, Italy.

A better understanding of the CT features of different forms of canine and feline adipose tumors would be valuable for improving patient management and treatment. The purpose of this retrospective, cross-sectional study was to describe and compare the CT features of pathologically confirmed lipomas, infiltrative lipomas, and liposarcomas in a sample of canine and feline patients. A total of 50 animals (46 dogs, four cats) and a total of 60 lesions (23 lipomas, 20 infiltrative lipomas, and 17 liposarcomas) were included in the study. Lipomas appeared as round to oval-shaped (n = 21), well-marginated (n = 20) fat-attenuating lesions. Infiltrative lipomas appeared as homogeneous, fat-attenuating masses but, unlike lipomas, they were most commonly characterized by an irregular shape (75%; P < 0.001), and linear components, hyperattenuating relative to the surrounding fat (100%; P < 0.05). Liposarcomas were represented exclusively by heterogeneous lesions with soft tissue attenuating components with a multinodular appearance (76.5%; P < 0.05). Regional lymphadenopathy (n = 10) and amorphous mineralization (n = 4) were also observed in association with liposarcomas. Computed tomography can provide useful information regarding disease location, extent, and involvement of the adjacent structures. Tumor definition and shape were the most useful parameters to differentiate between lipomas and infiltrative lipomas. The presence of a heterogeneous mass, with a multinodular soft tissue component and associated regional lymphadenopathy and mineralization, were features favoring a diagnosis of liposarcoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12445DOI Listing
January 2017

Single and mixed feline lungworm infections: clinical, radiographic and therapeutic features of 26 cases (2013-2015).

J Feline Med Surg 2017 Oct 30;19(10):1017-1029. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teaching Veterinary Hospital, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Objectives The aim of this study was to retrospectively describe clinical, radiographic and therapeutic features of feline lungworm infection. Methods Medical records of cats with lungworm diagnosis, thoracic radiography and without concurrent diseases between 2013 and 2015 were reviewed. Collection of data included physical examination, haematology, serum biochemistry, therapy with a variety of anthelmintics and outcomes. Results Thirty-seven records were recovered and 26 were included in the study. Single infections by Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (n = 15), Troglostrongylus brevior (n = 3) and Capillaria aerophila (n = 1) and coinfections by T brevior/ A abstrusus (n = 6) and T brevior/ C aerophila (n = 1) were diagnosed. The most common respiratory signs were coughing (n = 12), increased vesicular sounds (n = 10), dyspnoea (n = 9), such as laboured breathing, orthopnoea or open-mouth breathing, and tachypnoea (n = 6). Two cats were subclinically infected. The most common laboratory abnormality was anaemia (n = 7). Radiographic patterns recorded were interstitial (n = 24), bronchial (n = 21), alveolar (n = 10) and vascular (n = 2). Twenty-five cats had a complete recovery within 2-6 weeks of therapy. One kitten died 7 days after the diagnosis. Conclusions and relevance Lungworms should always be included in the differential diagnosis in cats living in endemic areas and presenting with respiratory signs and radiographic abnormalities. A copromicroscopic examination should be considered as the first diagnostic step for all cats at risk of lungworm infections. In most cases, timely therapy with a variety of anthelmintics guarantees recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X16670563DOI Listing
October 2017

Congenital and acquired anomalies of the caudal vertebrae in dogs: Radiographic classification and prevalence evaluation.

Acta Vet Hung 2016 09;64(3):330-339

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo , Teramo , Italy.

A prospective study to create radiographic classification of caudal vertebral anomalies in dogs was performed and the prevalence of the disorders estimated. Radiographic examination of the caudal vertebrae was performed in 595 client-owned dogs undergoing routine radiological examination of the hip joints. Anomalies of the caudal vertebrae were divided into four groups: (1) congenital anomalies with aberrant fusion of the vertebral epiphysis, like hemivertebra, block or transitional vertebra; (2) morphological anomalies like vertebra curva and dysplastic vertebral epiphysis; (3) post-traumatic changes, represented by fracture or luxation; and (4) degenerative changes, represented by spondylosis, osteophyte formation and mineralisation of intervertebral spaces. A total of 303 caudal vertebral anomalies were detected in 259 dogs (43.53% of all dogs examined). A single type of vertebral anomaly was present in 215 dogs and a combination of two pathologies was recorded in 44 dogs, which represents 83.01% and 16.99%, respectively, of the affected dogs. Congenital anomaly was present in 11.09% of the dogs examined. Sacrocaudal transitional vertebra was the most common congenital anomaly, present in 12.74% of the affected dogs. Radiographic examination of the caudal vertebrae is recommended as an essential part of any screening process to confirm the presence of congenital anomaly as a cause of kinked tail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/004.2016.031DOI Listing
September 2016

PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF SPIROTOME® DEVICE FOR LIVER BIOPSY IN GREEN IGUANAS (IGUANA IGUANA): A PILOT STUDY.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2016 Jun;47(2):508-13

The aim of this study was to evaluate a large-core manual biopsy device (Spirotome(®), Medinvents, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium) for liver sampling and histologic diagnosis in green iguanas (Iguana iguana). The study included eight green iguanas, and two ultrasound-guided biopsies were collected for each lizard, for 16 biopsies in total. The procedure was carried out under general anesthesia induced by intravenous injection of propofol (10 mg/kg) maintained with a mixture of 2.0% isoflurane and 0.8-1.2 L/min oxygen after tracheal intubation. Fourteen (87.5%) of the 16 biopsies were considered diagnostic. Liver biopsy quality was assessed according to sample size and tissue preservation. In particular, mean length (16.2 ± 4.5 mm), width (2.2 ± 0.5 mm), area (34.8 ± 6.9 mm(2)), and number of portal areas (9.4 ± 3.9) of each biopsy were recorded for all green iguanas. The total available surface of the sections obtained from the biopsies and their grade of preservation enabled a satisfactory evaluation of the parenchymal architecture. One of the green iguanas in the study died the day after the procedure due to severe hemocoeloma. Risk assessment evaluation suggested that small green iguanas may not be suitable for this biopsy procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2014-0217.1DOI Listing
June 2016

Is Serum Total LDH Evaluation Able to Differentiate between Alimentary Lymphoma and Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a Real World Clinical Setting?

PLoS One 2016 17;11(3):e0151641. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Context: An increase in enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in serum is a negative prognostic factor for survival in cats affected by lymphoma. Measuring LDH at the time of diagnosis has been studied for differentiating neoplastic disease from non-neoplastic disease in dogs. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and alimentary lymphoma are common diseases in cats.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether elevation of total LDH occurred in cats with alimentary lymphoma and non-neoplastic gastrointestinal disease, such as IBD, and to evaluate whether this enzyme is useful in supporting the differential diagnosis of these specific diseases.

Materials And Methods: A prospective non-randomized controlled study was carried-out in a real world setting of three Italian private veterinary clinics. Seventy-one client-owned cats with a history of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms were enrolled; 33 cats were histologically diagnosed as having alimentary lymphoma and 38 cats as having IBD. Serum samples of total LDH analysis were measured.

Results: Gender (P = 0.016) and age (P = 0.046) were found to be significant factors influencing the differentiation of serum total LDH between cats with alimentary lymphoma and those with IBD. Despite low diagnostic accuracy in the overall population (63%), a cut-off value of serum total LDH ranging from 0.85- to 1.04-times the upper reference limit showed good capability (accuracy >80%) of differentiating these two conditions in neutered males and cats younger than 8 years of age (AUC: 0.805, 0.833; sensitivities: 76.9%, 83.3%; specificities: 80.0%, 76.5%; PPV: 76.9%, 55.6%; NPV: 80.0%, 92.9%; respectively).

Conclusions: Although our study showed that gender and age are significant factors in differentiating serum total LDH between cats with alimentary lymphoma and those with IBD, this test had poor diagnostic accuracy in differentiating between these two conditions in the overall population.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151641PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795755PMC
August 2016

Combination of radiation therapy and firocoxib for the treatment of canine nasal carcinoma.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2015 May-Jun;56(3):335-43. Epub 2015 Feb 21.

Centro Oncologico Veterinario, I 40037 Sasso Marconi, Bologna, Italy.

Carcinomas represent two-thirds of canine nasosinal neoplasms. Although radiation therapy (RT) is the standard of care, the incidence of local recurrence following treatment is high. Cyclooxygenase-isoform-2 (COX-2) is expressed in 71-95% of canine nasal carcinomas and has been implicated in tumor growth and angiogenesis. Accordingly, COX-2 inhibition seems rational to improve outcome. Dogs with histologically confirmed, previously untreated nasal carcinomas were randomized to receive the combination of a selective COX-2 inhibitor (firocoxib) and palliative RT (Group 1) or RT and placebo (Group 2). Patients were regularly monitored with blood tests, urinalysis, and computed tomography. Pet owners were asked to complete monthly a quality-of-life questionnaire. Twenty-four dogs were prospectively enrolled. According to Adams modified system, there were five stage 1, five stage 2, three stage 3, and 11 stage 4 tumors. Two dogs had metastases to regional lymph nodes. Median progression-free interval and overall survival were 228 and 335 days in Group 1 (n = 12) and 234 and 244 days in Group 2 (n = 12). These differences were not statistically significant. The involvement of regional lymph nodes was significantly associated with progression-free interval and overall survival (P = 0.004). Quality of life was significantly improved in Group 1 (P = 0.008). In particular, a significant difference was observed for activity and appetite. Although not providing a significant enhancement of progression-free interval and overall survival, firocoxib in combination with RT is safe and improved life quality in dogs with nasal carcinomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12246DOI Listing
May 2016

Computed tomography-guided bone biopsies for evaluation of proliferative vertebral lesions in two boa constrictors (Boa constrictor imperator).

J Zoo Wildl Med 2014 Dec;45(4):973-8

Two boa constrictors (Boa constrictor imperator) presented with paresis of the trunk originating cranial to the cloaca. Radiographs were consistent with proliferative bone lesions involving several vertebrae. Computed tomography (CT) demonstrated the presence of lytic/expansile lesions. Computed tomography-guided biopsies of the lesions were performed without complications. Histology was consistent with bacterial osteomyelitis and osteoarthritis. Gram-negative bacteria (Salmonella sp. and Pseudomonas sp.) were isolated from cultures of the biopsies. Medical treatment with specific antibiotics was attempted for several weeks in both cases without clinical or radiographic improvements. The animals were euthanized, and necropsy confirmed the findings observed upon CT. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of the use of CT-guided biopsies to evaluate proliferative vertebral lesions in snakes. In the present report, CT-guided biopsies were easily performed, and both histologic and microbiologic results were consistent with the final diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2014-0049.1DOI Listing
December 2014

Use of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography to characterize adrenal gland tumors in dogs.

Am J Vet Res 2014 Oct;75(10):886-92

Departments of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopedy of Small Animals, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.

Objective: To describe the contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic characteristics and vascular patterns of adrenal gland tumors in dogs and determine whether those features are indicative of malignancy or histologic type of tumor.

Animals: 14 dogs with 16 adrenal gland lesions (10 carcinomas [8 dogs], 3 adenomas [3 dogs], and 3 pheochromocytomas [3 dogs]).

Procedures: Unsedated dogs with adrenal gland lesions underwent B-mode ultrasonography and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography ≤ 48 hours before adrenalectomy; contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic examinations were video-recorded. Macroscopic evaluation of the adrenal gland lesions and histologic examination of removed adrenal gland tissues were subsequently performed. Surgical and histopathologic findings and the ultrasonographic and contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic characteristics were recorded for the various tumor types. Time-intensity curves were generated from the contrast-enhanced ultrasonographic recordings and used to calculate regional blood volume (value proportional to area under the curve) and mean transit time (time the lesion began to enhance to the half-peak intensity).

Results: In adrenal gland carcinomas, tortuous feeding vessels were noticeable during the arterial and venous phases of contrast enhancement. Heterogeneity of contrast enhancement was evident only in malignant tumors. Compared with adenomas, adrenal gland carcinomas and pheochromocytomas had significantly less regional blood volume. Mean transit times were significantly shorter in adrenal gland carcinomas and pheochromocytomas than in adenomas.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: For dogs, evaluation of the vascular pattern and contrast-enhancement characteristics of adrenal gland tumors by means of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography may be useful in assessment of malignancy and tumor type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.75.10.886DOI Listing
October 2014

Evaluation of liver parenchyma and perfusion using dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography in captive green iguanas (Iguana iguana) under general anesthesia.

BMC Vet Res 2014 May 13;10:112. Epub 2014 May 13.

Veterinary Clinic Modena Sud, Spilamberto, MO 41057, Italy.

Background: Contrast-enhanced diagnostic imaging techniques are considered useful in veterinary and human medicine to evaluate liver perfusion and focal hepatic lesions. Although hepatic diseases are a common occurrence in reptile medicine, there is no reference to the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) to evaluate the liver in lizards. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the pattern of change in echogenicity and attenuation of the liver in green iguanas (Iguana iguana) after administration of specific contrast media.

Results: An increase in liver echogenicity and density was evident during CEUS and CECT, respectively. In CEUS, the mean ± SD (median; range) peak enhancement was 19.9% ± 7.5 (18.3; 11.7-34.6). Time to peak enhancement was 134.0 ± 125.1 (68.4; 59.6-364.5) seconds. During CECT, first visualization of the contrast medium was at 3.6 ± 0.5 (4; 3-4) seconds in the aorta, 10.7 ± 2.2 (10.5; 7-14) seconds in the hepatic arteries, and 15 ± 4.5 (14.5; 10-24) seconds in the liver parenchyma. Time to peak was 14.1 ± 3.4 (13; 11-21) and 31 ± 9.6 (29; 23-45) seconds in the aorta and the liver parenchyma, respectively.

Conclusion: CEUS and dynamic CECT are practical means to determine liver hemodynamics in green iguanas. Distribution of contrast medium in iguana differed from mammals. Specific reference ranges of hepatic perfusion for diagnostic evaluation of the liver in iguanas are necessary since the use of mammalian references may lead the clinician to formulate incorrect diagnostic suspicions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-10-112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032566PMC
May 2014

EGFR, HER-2 and KRAS in canine gastric epithelial tumors: a potential human model?

PLoS One 2014 15;9(1):e85388. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or HER-1) and its analog c-erbB-2 (HER-2) are protein tyrosine kinases correlated with prognosis and response to therapy in a variety of human cancers. KRAS mediates the transduction of signals between EGFR and the nucleus, and its mutation has been identified as a predictor of resistance to anti-EGFR drugs. In human oncology, the importance of the EGFR/HER-2/KRAS signalling pathway in gastric cancer is well established, and HER-2 testing is required before initiating therapy. Conversely, this pathway has never been investigated in canine gastric tumours. A total of 19 canine gastric epithelial neoplasms (5 adenomas and 14 carcinomas) were retrospectively evaluated for EGFR/HER-2 immunohistochemical expression and KRAS mutational status. Five (35.7%) carcinomas were classified as intestinal-type and 9 (64.3%) as diffuse-type. EGFR was overexpressed (≥ 1+) in 8 (42.1%) cases and HER-2 (3+) in 11 (57.9%) cases, regardless of tumour location or biological behaviour. The percentage of EGFR-positive tumours was significantly higher in the intestinal-type (80%) than in the diffuse-type (11.1%, p = 0.023). KRAS gene was wild type in 18 cases, whereas one mucinous carcinoma harboured a point mutation at codon 12 (G12R). EGFR and HER-2 may be promising prognostic and therapeutic targets in canine gastric epithelial neoplasms. The potential presence of KRAS mutation should be taken into account as a possible mechanism of drug resistance. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the role of dog as a model for human gastric cancer.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0085388PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893207PMC
December 2014

Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded chemoimmunotherapy clinical trial in a pet dog model of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2014 Feb 3;20(3):668-77. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

Authors' Affiliations: Centro Oncologico Veterinario, Sasso Marconi, Bologna; Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, University of Milan; Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science, University of Padova, Italy; Urodelia, St Lys, France; and Epidemiology advisor, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Active immunotherapy is a promising antitumoral strategy; however its use in combination with chemotherapy in dogs with large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) remains largely untested. Heat shock proteins (HSP) bind the small peptides they chaperone (HSPPC), allowing for immunization of the host against a large repertoire of tumor-associated antigens. Hydroxylapatite vehicles HSPPCs and acts as an immunologic adjuvant. The aim of this study was to show that an autologous vaccine with hydroxylapatite and tumor-derived HSPPCs is safe and therapeutically effective in dogs with DLBCL.

Experimental Design: Nineteen dogs with naturally occurring DLBCL were entered into a prospective randomized placebo-controlled double-blinded trial of HSPPCs-hydroxylapatite plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone. Endpoints included time to progression (TTP), lymphoma-specific survival (LSS), and incidence of toxicoses.

Results: Median first TTP after randomization to the vaccine arm was 304 days versus 41 days for the control arm (P = 0.0004). There was also a statistically significant difference in duration of second remission between the two groups (P = 0.02). Median LSS was 505 days for the vaccinated dogs versus 159 days for the unvaccinated dogs (P = 0.0018). Six vaccinated dogs achieved molecular remission, as shown by clonal immunoglobulin H (IgH) rearrangement. Toxicoses were comparable between the two treatment arms.

Conclusions: The results of this trial demonstrate that the autologous vaccine tested here is safe and efficacious in prolonging TTP and LSS in dogs with DLBCL when used in combination with dose-intense chemotherapy. On the basis of these results, additional evaluation of this novel therapeutic strategy is warranted in human DLBCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-2283DOI Listing
February 2014
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