Outcome and prognostic indicators in 20 cats with surgically treated primary lung tumors

Karl C. Maritato, Eric R. Schertel, Shawn C. Kennedy, Robert Dudley, Catherine Lamm, Matthew Barnhart, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this retrospective study of 20 client-owned cats was to describe the clinical signs, surgical interventions, histological features, stage and treatments of primary lung tumors removed by surgical excision, and to determine which factors significantly influence survival. Any cat that underwent surgical resection of a primary lung tumor between 2000 and 2007 was included in the study. Patient records were reviewed and signalment, clinical signs, preoperative diagnostics, surgical findings and histopathological results recorded. Histological reports were reviewed and scored using World Health Organization criteria. The Kaplan–Meier test was used to evaluate each potential prognostic factor with survival. Twenty cats met the inclusion criteria. The presence of clinical signs (such as dyspnea) at the time of diagnosis (P = 0.032), pleural effusion (P = 0.046), stage M1 (P = 0.015), and moderately and poorly differentiated tumors on histopathology (P = 0.011) were factors that were significantly correlated with reduced survival times. The median survival time of the 20 cats was 11 days. Cats presenting with no clinical signs had a median survival time of 578 days post-surgery vs 4 days post-surgery when presented with clinical signs. Cats staged T1N0M0 lived longer than cats at other stages (P = 0.044). Of the cats that survived to the time of suture removal, median survival time was 64 days. The results indicate that the presence of clinical signs, pleural effusion, moderately and poorly differentiated tumors on histopathology, evidence of metastasis and any stage beyond T1N0M0 are negative prognostic indicators for cats with primary lung tumors. The findings demonstrate that cats that presented with clinical signs, pleural effusion, any stage other than T1N0M0, or moderately and poorly differentiated tumors on histopathology had a poor prognosis. Therefore, extensive preoperative diagnostics, including computed tomography scans, should be performed before considering surgical intervention in these cats. These findings may be used to guide therapeutic decision-making in cats diagnosed with primary lung tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-984
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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