Gastric pneumatosis is an imaging finding defined as the presence of gas foci in the gastric wall. In humans, this imaging feature can result from one of two separate clinical entities: life-threatening emphysematous gastritis or clinically benign gastric emphysema. This retrospective descriptive case series describes the clinical and imaging features in five animals diagnosed with spontaneous gastric pneumatosis without gastric dilatation-volvulus. Three canine and two feline cases of spontaneous gastric pneumatosis were identified on radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations. In addition to gastric pneumatosis, one dog and two cats presented concomitant systemic signs such as lethargy, hematemesis, anemia or leukocytosis. Two dogs remained asymptomatic or presented mild gastrointestinal signs. Portal gas was described in two dogs and one cat, and pneumoperitoneum in one dog. These features were not considered clinically significant. The dog and two cats with systemic signs were euthanized due to clinical deterioration and diagnosed with emphysematous gastritis. The gastric pneumatosis of both dogs without systemic signs resolved while on medical management without antibiotic therapy. These latter cases were interpreted as consistent with gastric emphysema. Findings from the current study indicated that gastric pneumatosis can occur without gastric dilatation-volvulus in cats and dogs and that a combination of systemic abnormalities may help to differentiate between apparent life-threatening emphysematous gastritis and relatively benign gastric emphysema. More studies are needed to further understand the etiology and risk factors associated with these conditions.
- Gastric pneumatosis
- portal gas