Computed tomographic features of feline nasopharyngeal polyps

Cintia R. Oliveira, Robert T. O'Brien, Jodi S. Matheson, Inés Carrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The computed tomographic (CT) findings of histopathologically confirmed nasopharyngeal polyps are described in 13 cats. Most polyps were mildly hypoattenuating to adjacent muscles and isoattenuating to soft-tissue (n= 13), homogeneous (n = 12) and with ill-defined borders (n = 10) on precontrast images. After contrast medium administration, the polyps were homogeneous (n = 11), with well-defined borders (n = 13), oval (n = 13), and had rim enhancement (n = 13). Nasopharyngeal polyps were pedunculated in 11 cats with a stalk-like structure connecting the polyp through the auditory tube to an affected tympanic bulla. All cats had at least one tympanic bulla severely affected, with CT images identifying: (1) complete (n = 12) or partial (n = 1) obliteration of either the dorsal or ventral compartments with soft-tissue attenuating material; (2) pathologic expansion (n = 13) with wall thickening (n = 10) that was asymmetric in nine cats; and (3) identification of a polyp-associated stalk-like structure (n = 11). Nine cats had unilateral tympanic bulla disease ipsilateral to the polyp, and four cats had bilateral tympanic bulla disease, most severe ipsilateral to the polyp with milder contralateral pathologic changes. Two cats had minimal osteolysis of the tympanic bulla. Enlargement of the medial retropharyngeal lymph node was seen commonly (n = 8), and in all cats it was ipsilateral to the most affected tympanic bulla. One cat had bilateral lymphadenopathy. CT is an excellent imaging tool for the supportive diagnosis of nasopharyngeal polyps in cats. CT findings of a well-defined mass with strong rim enhancement, mass-associated stalk-like structure, and asymmetric tympanic bulla wall thickening with pathologic expansion of the tympanic bullae are highly indicative of an inflammatory polyp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-411
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Ear canal
  • Nasopharynx
  • Rim enhancement
  • Tympanic bulla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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