Abdominal ultrasonographic findings of cats with feline infectious peritonitis: an update

The aim of this study was to describe the abdominal ultrasonographic findings in cats with confirmed or presumed feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

This was a retrospective study performed in an academic veterinary hospital. The diagnosis of FIP was reached on review of history, signalment, clinical presentation, complete blood count, biochemistry panel, peritoneal fluid analysis, cytology and/or histopathology results from abnormal organs, and/or molecular testing (immunohistochemical or FIP coronavirus [FCoV] RT-PCR). Cats with confirmed FIP by molecular testing or with a highly suspicious diagnosis of FIP were included. Abdominal ultrasound examination findings were reviewed.

In total, 25 cats were included. Common clinical signs/pathology findings included hyperglobulinemia (96%), anorexia/hyporexia (80%) and lethargy (56%). Abdominal ultrasound findings included effusion in 88% and lymphadenopathy in 80%. Hepatic changes were noted in 80%, the most common being hepatomegaly (58%) and a hypoechoic liver (48%). Intestinal changes were noted in 68% of cats, characterized by asymmetric wall thickening and/or loss of wall layering, with 52% being ileocecocolic junction and/or colonic in location. Splenic changes were present in 36% of cats, including splenomegaly, mottled parenchyma and hypoechoic nodules. Renal changes were present in 32%, encompassing a hypoechoic subcapsular rim and/or cortical nodules. Mesenteric and peritoneal abnormalities were seen in 28% and 16% of cats, respectively. Most cats (92%) had two or more locations of abdominal abnormalities on ultrasound.

The present study documents a wider range and distribution of ultrasonographic lesions in cats with FIP than previously reported. The presence of effusion and lymph node, hepatic and/or gastrointestinal tract changes were the most common findings, and most of the cats had a combination of two or more abdominal abnormalities.

Abdominal ultrasonographic findings of cats with feline infectious peritonitis: an update. Thiago R Müller et al. J Feline Med Surg. 2023 Dec;25(12):1098612X231216000. doi: 10.1177/1098612X231216000.


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