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Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2011 Sep-Oct;52(5):516-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2011.01830.x. Epub 2011 May 20.

Radiographic diameter of the colon in normal and constipated cats and in cats with megacolon.

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Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


Radiographs of 50 cats with no history of gastrointestinal disease were evaluated to establish a normal reference range for radiographic diameter of the feline colon. Thirteen cats with constipation and 26 with megacolon were also evaluated and compared with the normal cats to characterize the accuracy of the reference range and to identify a cutoff to distinguish constipation from megacolon. A ratio of maximal diameter of the colon to L5 length was the most repeatable and accurate measurement. A ratio <1.28 is a strong indicator of a normal colon (sensitivity 96%, specificity 87%). A value >1.48 is a good indicator of megacolon (sensitivity 77%, specificity 85%).

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