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J Vet Intern Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;24(2):289-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0457.x.

Ultrasonographic evaluation of the muscularis propria in cats with diffuse small intestinal lymphoma or inflammatory bowel disease.

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School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Surgery and Radiological Sciences, University of California-Davis, 2112 Tupper Hall, Davis, CA 95616, USA.



An ultrasonographic pattern of thickened muscularis propria in the small intestine and lymphadenopathy have been associated with gastrointestinal lymphoma and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats.


To investigate the association of these imaging biomarkers with IBD and lymphoma in cats.


One hundred and forty-two cats with a histologic diagnosis of normal small intestine (SI) (n = 56), lymphoma (n = 62), or IBD (n = 24).


Retrospective case review. Pathology records from 1998-2006 were searched for cats with a diagnosis of normal, IBD, or lymphoma, an ultrasonographic examination < 28 days before surgery, and without ultrasonographic evidence of a mass. Multinomial regression analysis was used to determine the association of imaging biomarkers with disease status.


Cats with thickening of the muscularis propria detected by ultrasonographic examination were more likely to have lymphoma compared with normal SI cats (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.2-13.1, P = .021) and those with IBD (OR = 18.8, 95% CI 2.2-162.7, P = .008). Histologic samples of cats with muscularis propria thickening were more likely to have disease infiltrates in both the mucosal and submucosal layers (OR = 8.1, 95% CI 1.7-38.4, P = .008) than cats with normal SI. Cats with ultrasonographic evidence of lymphadenopathy were more likely to have a diagnosis of lymphoma (OR = 44.9, 95% CI 5.1-393.0, P = .001) or IBD (OR = 10.8, 95% CI 1.1-106.3, P = .041) than normal SI. Fifty-six of 62 cats had confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of diffuse T-cell lymphoma.


Older cats with muscularis layer thickening are more likely to have T-cell lymphoma than IBD. The ultrasonographic pattern is associated with histologic infiltrates in the mucosal and submucosal layers of small intestine. Lymphadenopathy is associated with lymphoma or IBD.

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