Radiographic characterization of enlarged sternal lymph nodes in 71 dogs and 13 cats

Kelli Smith, Robert O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this retrospective study, radiographically enlarged sternal lymph nodes (LNs) were evaluated in 71 dogs and 13 cats for average size, location, and most representative radiographic view. Concurrent clinical diagnoses were also noted and grouped into one of three following categories: neoplastic, inflammatory, or hematologic. There were no statistically significant differences in LN size between lateral views within each species. Enlarged sternal LNs were more cranially positioned in dogs than cats. No statistical difference was noted between right and left laterals, as to on which projection the enlarged sterna lymph nodes was seen best. Neoplastic disease (78.9%) was the most prevalent condition seen in association with LN enlargement in dogs, followed by primary infectious or inflammatory diseases (14.1%) and various hematologic conditions (7.0%). In cats, neoplasia was also most common (69.2%), followed by inflammatory diseases (30.8%). No hematologic conditions were noted in cats. The most common etiologic agent seen concurrently with enlarged sternal LNs in both dogs (33.8%) and cats (38.5%) was malignant lymphoma. The results of this study provide a clinically useful representation of the average size and location of radiographically enlarged sternal LNs for dogs and cats. The diseases represented demonstrate the wide spectrum of potential causes of sternal lymphadenopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals

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