Clinical features and radiographic findings in cats with eosinophilic, neutrophilic, and mixed airway inflammation (2011-2018)

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4 Scopus citations


Background: Idiopathic inflammatory airway disease (IAD) in cats often is described as asthmatic (eosinophilic) or bronchitic (neutrophilic), but this designation requires collection of airway fluid and it fails to consider cats with mixed airway inflammation. Objective: To identify clinical features that would differentiate inflammatory disease types. Animals: Forty-nine cats with nonspecific airway inflammation identified by bronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) between 2011 and 2018 were evaluated. Methods: This is a retrospective study. Cats were categorized by BAL differential cytology as having eosinophilic (eosinophils >20% with neutrophils <14%, or eosinophils >50%), mixed (eosinophils 20%-50% and neutrophils >14% or discordant inflammation from 2 BAL sites), or neutrophilic (neutrophils >14% and eosinophils <20%) inflammation. Type and duration of presenting complaints, signalment, body condition score, respiratory rate, CBC results, bronchoscopy, BAL results (% recovery, total nucleated cell count, differential cell count), and radiographic findings were compared among groups. Results: Idiopathic IAD was diagnosed in 49 cats, with BAL eosinophilic inflammation in 23, mixed inflammation in 14, and neutrophilic inflammation in 12. Cough was the predominant presenting complaint with no difference in duration of signs among groups (median, 5.5 months). Respiratory rate and effort also did not differ. Cats with eosinophilic inflammation were significantly younger (4.4 ± 3.3 years) than those with neutrophilic (8.0 ±5.6 years) or mixed inflammation (7.5 ± 4.0 years; P =.03). Results of CBC and interpretation of radiographic findings did not differ among groups. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Substantial overlap exists in clinical and radiographic findings in cats with various forms of idiopathic airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • asthma
  • endoscopy
  • eosinophilic inflammation
  • neutrophilic inflammation
  • parenchymal disease
  • respiratory tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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