Objective - To develop protocols for helical computed tomography (CT) and axial high-resolution CT (HRCT) of lungs and correlate densitometric CT values with morphometric and histologic data for normal pulmonary tissue in dogs. Animals - 8 healthy adult dogs. Procedure - 2 dogs were used to establish a protocol for helical CT and HRCT of lungs. Six dogs were used to acquire densitometric CT data regarding normal lungs. After the dogs were euthanatized, their lungs were fixed and sampled for morphometric and histologic evaluation. Four CT acquisitions were compared by means of paired t tests. Results - For normal lung tissue of dogs, mean densitometric CT value obtained during helical CT scans reconstructed in a sharp algorithm was -846 Hounsfield units. Values obtained via helical CT or HRCT acquisitions and reconstructed with sharp or standard algorithms did not differ significantly. Morphometric analysis was used to determine the proportion of lung parenchymal (82%) and nonparenchymal tissue (18%). Alveolar size, estimated by mean linear intercept, was approximately 172 μm, and alveolar surface area-to-volume ratio was 0.024 to 0.026 μm-1. Histologic evaluation confirmed the presence of normal lung tissue. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Correlation of densitometric CT data with morphometric and histologic findings and the establishment of helical CT and HRCT protocols were attained; clinical use of this information may facilitate investigation of pulmonary disease in dogs. Sharp helical CT acquisitions were preferred because of better lung parenchyma detail and rapid image acquisitions, compared with HRCT.
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