Thoracic ultrasonographyc evaluation of dogs with pleural and/or pericardial effusion


  • Ana Paula Sarraff-Lopes Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, PR
  • Maria Helena Matiko Akao Larsson Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Departamento de Clínica Veterinária, São Paulo, SP



Thoracic ultrasonography, Echocardiography, Pleural effusion, Pericardial effusion, Dogs


To evaluate diagnostic accuracy of thoracic ultrasonography (including echocardiography) of patients with pleural and/or pericardial effusion, thoracic ultrasonography was performed in 30 dogs, males and females, of different breeds and ages. The animals were admitted to the Emergency, Internal medicine or Surgery department of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, presenting with pleural and/or pericardial effusion, diagnosed by thoracic radiography, emergency thoracic ultrasonography or exploratory thoracocentesis. Twelve (40%) dogs had pleural effusion, 9 (30%) had pericardial effusion and 9 (30%) had both pleural and pericardial effusions. The definitive cause of effusion were obtained by thoracic ultrasonography as follows: heart mass (5 -16,66%), intrathoracic mass (5 - 16,66%), congestive heart failure by dilated cardiomyopathy (4 - 13,33%) or mitral and tricuspid insufficiency (3 - 10%), idiopathic pericardial effusion (3 - 10%), lymphosarcoma (2 - 6,66%), pyothorax (2 - 6,66%), traumatic diaphragmatic hernia (1 - 3,33%), congenital peritoneopericardial hernia (1 - 3,33%), pneumonia and pleuritis (1 - 3,33%), ovarian neoplasia and thoracic metastasis (1 - 3,33%), infectious pericarditis (distemper) (1 - 3,33%) and hypoalbuminemia (1 - 3,33%). The conclusion was that thoracic ultrasonography was an excellent auxiliary exam in animals with pleural and/or pericardial effusion, and it's not invasive and safe for the patient, allowing to guide biopsies and perform the exam in different decubits, avoiding patient stress.


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How to Cite

Sarraff-Lopes, A. P., & Larsson, M. H. M. A. (2011). Thoracic ultrasonographyc evaluation of dogs with pleural and/or pericardial effusion. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science, 48(5), 399-407.




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