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Computed tomographic densitometry of thyroid glands of healthy cats
Computer tomography offers lots of advantages in diagnosis and can also be used to evaluate thyroid glands. Because hyperthyroidism is commonly seen especially in older cats a study group tried to work out CT appearance and to determine Hounsfield units (HU) for normal thyroid tissue so that this can be compared with altered thyroid tissue in the future.

Eight cats were included in this study.

Helical CT images (2 mm collimation) were acquired from cranial aspect of the second cervical vertebra (C2) through caudal aspect of the fourth cervical vertebra (C4).
Data were acquired before contrast medium administration (n=7), after delayed contrast medium enhancement (n=8), and immediately after contrast medium enhancement after a second dose of contrast medium (n=8).
Attenuation of thyroid tissue was compared with surrounding tissues.

Before contrast medium enhancement, thyroid tissue was hyperattenuating to the surrounding soft tissues. After delayed contrast medium enhancement, thyroid tissue was hyperattenuating to surrounding soft tissues and isoattenuating to contrast medium-laden blood vessels.
Immediately after contrast medium enhancement, thyroid tissue was hyperattenuating to surrounding soft tissues and hypoattenuating to contrast medium-laden blood vessels.

The thyroid glands were dorsolateral to the trachea, ovoid, and displayed homogenous contrast medium enhancement. Circular regions of interest were drawn on the right and left thyroid lobes. Densitometric data of thyroid tissue were as follows: precontrast medium enhancement, 123.2 HU (95% CI: 119.4-127.1 HU); delayed contrast medium enhancement, 132.1 HU (95% CI: 127.4-136.8 HU); immediate postcontrast medium enhancement, 168.5 HU (95% CI: 163-173.9 HU).

Normal feline thyroid tissue is easily detected using CT without contrast medium enhancement. This information may be useful for CT evaluation of abnormal feline thyroid glands.

Source: Drost, Wm Tod, Mattoon, John S., Samii, Valerie F., Weisbrode, Steven E. & Hoshaw-Woodard, Stacy L. (2004): Computed tomographic densitometry of normal feline thyroid glands. In:
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 45 (2), 112-116



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