Analysis of factors affecting survival in dogs with aortic body tumors

Nicole Ehrhart, E. J. Ehrhart, Jennifer Willis, David Sisson, Peter D Constable, Cathy Greenfield, Sandra Manfra-Maretta, John Hintermeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To evaluate the effect of perioperative and operative variables on survival time in dogs with aortic body tumors. Study Design - Retrospective study. Sample Population - Twenty-four client-owned dogs with histologically confirmed aortic body tumor. Methods - Seventy-eight patient records of dogs seen at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital between 1989 and 1999 with a diagnosis of a heart-base mass were reviewed. Dogs without histologic conformation of an aortic body tumor were excluded. Age; sex; breed; the presence of pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, or abdominal effusion; evidence of cardiac arrhythmias; evidence of distant metastasis; treatment with pericardectomy; treatment with chemotherapy; and time from diagnosis until euthanasia or death were recorded on a spreadsheet. Cox proportional-hazard ratios were used to calculate the relationship of risk variables to survival time. Median survival time was determined using life-table analysis. Results - Twenty-four dogs met the criteria for inclusion in the study. The median age of dogs with aortic body tumors was 9 years. All dogs had a surgical biopsy performed. Fourteen dogs had a pericardectomy at the time of the biopsy procedure. Of all factors analyzed, only treatment with pericardectomy had a significant influence on survival (P = .0029). Dogs that had pericardectomy survived longer (median survival, 730 days; range, 1-1,621 days) compared with dogs that did not have pericardectomy (median survival, 42 days; range, 1-180 days). This finding was independent of the presence or absence of pericardial effusion at the time of surgery. Clinical Relevance - Dogs that are diagnosed with aortic body tumors may benefit from a pericardectomy at the time of surgical biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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