OBJECTIVE To characterize the extent and location of atelectasis in healthy anesthetized dogs positioned in lateral recumbency and to determine whether repositioning dogs in sternal recumbency would resolve atelectasis. ANIMALS 6 healthy adult Beagles. PROCEDURES Each dog was anesthetized and underwent a CT examination twice with a 2-week interval between examinations. Once anesthetized, each dog was positioned in sternal recumbency, and a breath-hold helical transverse thoracic CT scan was acquired. The dog was then positioned in lateral recumbency for 30 minutes, and images were obtained at 5 preselected sites at 3, 8, 13, 20, and 30 minutes after repositioning (phase 1). Then, the dog was repositioned in sternal recumbency, and CT images were obtained at the 5 preselected sites at 5, 10, and 20 minutes after repositioning (phase 2). The protocol for the second examination was the same as the first except the dog was positioned in the opposite lateral recumbency during phase 1. The attenuation and cross-sectional area of the lung lobes at the preselected sites were measured and compared over time. RESULTS Lateral recumbency did not cause atelectasis in any of the dogs. Patchy areas of abnormally increased attenuation were infrequently detected in the left cranial lung lobe when dogs were positioned in left lateral recumbency, and those areas failed to resolve when dogs were positioned in sternal recumbency. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the extent of lung attenuation changes was minimal in healthy anesthetized Beagles positioned in lateral recumbency and should not preclude CT examination.
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