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Pulmonary Edema in Cats

Benigni L, Morgan N, Lamb CR. Radiographic appearance of cardiogenic pulmonary oedema in 23 cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2009;50(1):9-14.

Congestive heart failure commonly results in pulmonary edema. Thoracic radiographs are useful for the diagnosis of congestive heart failure because it enables assessment of the pulmonary veins and detection of pulmonary edema. It also helps distinguish pulmonary edema from other conditions causing similar clinical signs, such as bronchopneumonia. In dogs with heart failure, pulmonary edema typically appears as a symmetrical alveolar pattern that is most apparent in the caudodorsal lung field, although it can become generalized. The radiographic appearance of pulmonary edema is thought to be more variable in cats than in dogs. The purpose of this study was to describe in detail the radiographic appearance of pulmonary edema in cats with heart failure. Thoracic radiographs of 23 cats presenting with signs of heart failure were reviewed. Pulmonary edema in these cats was associated with a range of patterns and variable distribution. All cats had a reticular or granular interstitial pattern. This occurred in combination with an alveolar pattern (83%), with increased diameter of pulmonary vessels (71%), and with a bronchial pattern (61%). The distribution of pulmonary edema was diffuse/non-uniform in 61% of cats, diffuse/uniform in 17%, multi-focal in 17% and focal in 4%. The researchers conclude that feline cardiogenic pulmonary edema has a highly variable radiographic appearance that may complicate diagnosis.
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Herndon WE, Rishniw M, Schrope D, Sammarco CD, Boddy KN, Sleeper MM. Assessment of plasma cardiac troponin I concentration as a means to differentiate cardiac and noncardiac causes of dyspnea in cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2008;233(8):1261-1264.
>> PubMed Abstract