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Traumatic pericarditis in cattle: clinical, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings


Braun, U (2009). Traumatic pericarditis in cattle: clinical, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings. Veterinary Journal, 182(2):176-86.

Abstract

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium with accumulation of serous or fibrinous inflammatory products. In cattle, it is almost always attributable to a reticular foreign body that has penetrated the reticular wall, diaphragm and pericardial sac. The lead signs of pericarditis are tachycardia, muffled heart sounds, asynchronous abnormal heart sounds, distension of the jugular veins and submandibular, brisket and ventral abdominal oedema. The glutaraldehyde test is an important diagnostic tool because it is positive in >90% of affected cattle. Other common laboratory findings are leukocytosis and hyperfibrinogenaemia (indicating inflammation), and elevation of liver enzyme activity (reflecting hepatic congestion). Radiographs of the thorax and reticulum often show a foreign body cranial to the reticulum. In the majority of cases, massive fibrinopurulent adhesions obscure the cardiophrenic angle, cardiac silhouette and ventral diaphragm. Ultrasonography is the method of choice for diagnosis and characterisation of pericardial effusion. Echogenic deposits and strands of fibrin are seen on the epicardium, and the ventricles are compressed by the effusion. Severe pleural effusion is usually evident. In cattle with distension of the jugular veins and tachycardia, the differential diagnosis includes right-sided cardiac insufficiency attributable to other causes. Distension of the jugular veins without signs of right-sided cardiac insufficiency may occur with obstruction or compression of the cranial vena cava. The prognosis is poor, and pericardiocentesis or pericardiotomy are inadequate methods of treatment. Thus, prompt and humane euthanasia is indicated for cattle with traumatic reticuloperitonitis. Because a definitive diagnosis of traumatic reticuloperitonitis is not always possible based on clinical signs alone, radiography and ultrasonography of the thorax and reticulum are indicated in doubtful cases.

Abstract

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium with accumulation of serous or fibrinous inflammatory products. In cattle, it is almost always attributable to a reticular foreign body that has penetrated the reticular wall, diaphragm and pericardial sac. The lead signs of pericarditis are tachycardia, muffled heart sounds, asynchronous abnormal heart sounds, distension of the jugular veins and submandibular, brisket and ventral abdominal oedema. The glutaraldehyde test is an important diagnostic tool because it is positive in >90% of affected cattle. Other common laboratory findings are leukocytosis and hyperfibrinogenaemia (indicating inflammation), and elevation of liver enzyme activity (reflecting hepatic congestion). Radiographs of the thorax and reticulum often show a foreign body cranial to the reticulum. In the majority of cases, massive fibrinopurulent adhesions obscure the cardiophrenic angle, cardiac silhouette and ventral diaphragm. Ultrasonography is the method of choice for diagnosis and characterisation of pericardial effusion. Echogenic deposits and strands of fibrin are seen on the epicardium, and the ventricles are compressed by the effusion. Severe pleural effusion is usually evident. In cattle with distension of the jugular veins and tachycardia, the differential diagnosis includes right-sided cardiac insufficiency attributable to other causes. Distension of the jugular veins without signs of right-sided cardiac insufficiency may occur with obstruction or compression of the cranial vena cava. The prognosis is poor, and pericardiocentesis or pericardiotomy are inadequate methods of treatment. Thus, prompt and humane euthanasia is indicated for cattle with traumatic reticuloperitonitis. Because a definitive diagnosis of traumatic reticuloperitonitis is not always possible based on clinical signs alone, radiography and ultrasonography of the thorax and reticulum are indicated in doubtful cases.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Date:November 2009
Deposited On:27 Nov 2009 07:20
Last Modified:11 Aug 2017 09:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1090-0233
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.06.021
PubMed ID:18774315

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