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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017 Mar 15;250(6):666-675. doi: 10.2460/javma.250.6.666.

Accuracy of point-of-care lung ultrasonography for the diagnosis of cardiogenic pulmonary edema in dogs and cats with acute dyspnea.


OBJECTIVE To determine the accuracy of a point-of-care lung ultrasonography (LUS) protocol designed to diagnose cardiogenic pulmonary edema (CPE) in dyspneic dogs and cats. DESIGN Diagnostic test evaluation. ANIMALS 76 dogs and 24 cats evaluated for dyspnea. PROCEDURES Dogs and cats were evaluated by LUS; B lines were counted at 4 anatomic sites on each hemithorax. A site was scored as positive when > 3 B lines were identified. Animals with ≥ 2 positive sites identified on each hemithorax were considered positive for CPE. Medical records were evaluated to obtain a final diagnosis (reference standard) for calculation of the sensitivity and specificity of LUS and thoracic radiography for the diagnosis of CPE. RESULTS Dogs and cats with a final diagnosis of CPE had a higher number of positive LUS sites than did those with noncardiac causes of dyspnea. Overall sensitivity and specificity of LUS for the diagnosis of CPE were 84% and 74%, respectively, and these values were similar to those of thoracic radiography (85% and 87%, respectively). Use of LUS generally led to the misdiagnosis of CPE (ie, a false-positive result) in animals with diffuse interstitial or alveolar disease. Interobserver agreement on LUS results was high (κ > 0.85). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE LUS was useful for predicting CPE as the cause of dyspnea in dogs and cats, although this technique could not be used to differentiate CPE from other causes of diffuse interstitial or alveolar disease. Point-of-care LUS has promise as a diagnostic tool for dyspneic dogs and cats.

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