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Veterinary Imaging & Nuclear Medicine

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A chronically vomiting cat…

This patient presents with a history of chronic (>2 months) intermittent vomiting. 

This one is a little tougher than most of the posts so far…

Radiologist's Comments

There is a soft tissue density mass present in the caudodorsal abdomen which appears to be displacing the descending colon ventrally. The kidneys are both small as well. The remainder of the abdomen appears radiographically normal. It is important not to over interpret the upper GI tract in this study. There is ingesta present in the stomach, which precludes any meaningful assessment of gastric wall thickness. Similarly the small bowel wall appears thickened in some areas, but this is a dangerous trap to fall into, because even a small amount of intraluminal fluid can cause apparent wall thickening on plain radiographs. If you are concerned about thickening of the stomach or small bowel wall and you don't have ultrasound available then you need to do a contrast study. 

The take home point in this case is that you always need to read the radiographs, and not just the history. The cat presents for vomiting, but the underlying problem is a colonic mass. Ultrasound of the abdomen confirmed that the mass was originating from the wall of the descending colon, and ultrasound-guided aspirates confirmed colonic lymphosarcoma. The remainder of the GI tract was sonographically normal.