Fine needle aspiration in cardiac masses

28 May 2018 – News

While they are still rare, the most common heart tumors in dogs are hemangiosarcomas, chemodectomas, lymphomas and ectopic thyroid carcinomas. Samples for cytological or histopathological analysis are usually collected in masses with an extra-cardiac location but this procedure is not recommended for cardiac masses as it can cause complications.

This retrospective study reviewed the clinical records of dogs whose cardiac masses were sampled using fine needle aspirations (FNAs) and the authors described six cases in which ultrasound-guided transthoracic FNAs were performed.

The dogs were sedated or anesthetized and were closely monitored during the procedure. The masses had to be of a certain size, be immobilized and have an anatomical location that allowed collection. The FNAs were carried out with only minor complications and a diagnosis was made in all six cases.

Based on this, the authors recommend acquiring fine needle aspirates of cardiac masses for cytological assessment whenever possible. From their experience the procedure is safe, well tolerated and often provides a diagnosis.

In Pedro, B., Linney, C., Navarro-Cubas, X., et al. (2016) Cytological diagnosis of cardiac masses with ultrasound guided fine needle aspirates. Journal of Veterinary Cardiology 18, 47 – 56