Clinicopathologic and radiographic features in 33 cats with aspiration and 26 cats with bronchopneumonia (2007-2017)

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Background: Aspiration pneumonia (AP) and bronchopneumonia (BP) are poorly characterized diseases in cats that share clinical similarities to inflammatory airway disease (IAD). Objectives: Describe clinicopathologic, radiographic, and microbiologic features in cats with AP and BP and compare findings to those in cats with IAD. Animals: Thirty-three cats with AP and 26 with BP; 44 cats with IAD. Methods: Retrospective case-control study. Results extracted for all cats included signalment, physical examination findings, historical details, and potential risk factors for aspiration. Diagnostic test results were summarized including CBC, bronchoalveolar (BAL) fluid analysis and microbial culture. Radiographs were reviewed in masked fashion and scored for severity. Results of BAL fluid analysis were assessed for evidence of septic inflammation. Results: Cats with AP were less likely to be presented for evaluation of cough (P <.001) and more likely to be hypothermic (P =.01) than were cats with IAD or BP. Median duration of signs was significantly shorter in cats with AP (12 days) compared to cats with BP or IAD (270 and 180 days; P =.01). Radiographically, cats with AP were more likely to have an alveolar pattern and higher total score than were cats with BP or IAD. Mycoplasma spp. were the organisms most commonly cultured from BAL fluid in cats with BP, but were not cultured from any cats with AP. Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Pneumonia must be distinguished from IAD in cats with cough and AP should be considered in cats with acute onset of tachypnea.

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


  • aspiration pneumonia
  • bronchopneumonia
  • feline
  • mycoplasma
  • pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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