Ultrasonographic and histopathological features in 8 cats with fibrotic small intestinal stricture

Andrew Holloway, Mauro Pivetta, Roberta Rasotto
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2019, 60 (4): 423-431
Benign stricture is an uncommon cause of chronic small intestinal obstruction in the cat. The purpose of this retrospective case series was to describe the ultrasonographic features, histopathological findings, and clinical presentation in a group of cats with benign small intestinal stricture. Inclusion criteria were cats presenting during the period 2010-2017, and that had ultrasonography and small intestinal stricture confirmed at surgery. For each cat, clinical data and ultrasonographic findings were retrieved from the medical record, and histopathology, where available, was reviewed. Eight cats met the inclusion criteria. The location of strictures was duodenum (1/8), mid- to distal jejunum (4/8), and ileum (3/8). Ultrasonographic findings included gastric distension (8/8) and generalized (3/8) or segmental (5/8) intestinal dilation consistent with mechanical obstruction. Ingesta did not propagate beyond the strictured segment. Wall thickening was mild to moderate (3-6 mm). Normal wall layering was disrupted in all cats. Strictures were predominantly hypoechoic (7/8) and associated with hyperechoic peri-intestinal mesentery (6/8). Annular strictures (5/8) were less than 15 mm in length whereas long-segment strictures (3/8) were greater than 15 mm in length. Histopathology showed transmural disease with fibrosis and inflammation (8/8), often (6/8) extending into the bordering mesentery. The mucosa was the most severely affected layer and epithelial injury accompanied the mucosal fibrosis/inflammation. Clinical presentation reflected delayed diagnosis of chronic bowel obstruction with debilitation (8/8), marked weight loss (8/8), and prerenal azotemia (5/8). Benign fibrostenotic stricture should be considered a differential diagnosis in debilitated young cats presenting with chronic bowel disease and ultrasonographic features of intestinal obstruction.


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