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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999 Aug 1;215(3):349-54.

Radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings in cats with inflammatory bowel disease of the stomach and small intestine: 33 cases (1990-1997).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6010, USA.



To characterize imaging findings in cats with confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the upper gastrointestinal tract (i.e., stomach and small intestine) and relate these findings to clinical signs and histologic changes.


Retrospective study.


32 cats with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of IBD.


Medical records were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs, clinicopathologic findings, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings, and results of endoscopic examination. Histologic findings were reviewed and characterized by severity and type of inflammatory infiltrate.


All cats had 1 or more clinical signs (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anorexia) consistent with IBD. Lymphocytic and plasmacytic infiltrates were observed in histologic sections of gastrointestinal tissue. Crypt distortion, villous blunting and fusion, and fibrosis were most commonly seen in cats with moderate or severe IBD. Clinicopathologic findings of some cats included anemia, leukocytosis or leukopenia, hypocholesterolemia, and hyper- or hypoproteinemia. Abnormalities were not found on abdominal radiographic views in 9 of 9 cats. However, contrast studies using barium revealed radiographic abnormalities in 1 of 3 cats. In 13 of 17 cats, abdominal ultrasonography revealed several intestinal abnormalities (e.g., poor intestinal wall layer definition, focal thickening) and large mesenteric lymph nodes with hypoechoic changes consistent with IBD. Endoscopic observation revealed findings (e.g., erythema, plaques, mucosal friability) consistent with inflammation in 9 of 18 cats.


Compared with endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract or abdominal radiography, clinical signs and ultrasonographic findings appear to have the best association with histologic grade of IBD in cats.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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