72 (6) 399-408

J.H. Saunders, H. van Bree

Canine nasal aspergillosis is a common disease that continues to present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. On physical examination, a profuse mucopurulent/hemorrhagic discharge, ulceration of the external nostrils, and facial pain or discomfort are the three most commonly encountered features. Hematology/chemistry is unrewarding. Serology, most commonly an agar gel double diffusion test, is easily performed and it has a very low rate of false positives (0-6%), but it may be falsely negative in the early stage of the disease. Imaging diagnosis of nasal aspergillosis is based on turbinate destruction, mucosal thickening and hyperostosis. Radiography is currently the most commonly used imaging technique, though its diagnostic value and reliability are still controversial. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance are promising emerging techniques. Rhinoscopy permits direct visualization of fungal colonies in 80 to 100% of the dogs and also has a therapeutic role. Culture is very hard to interpret, as 40% of nasal swabs of normal dogs and those with nasal neoplasia will yield Aspergillus. Cytology and histology show aspecific features in the absence of visualization of fungal hyphae, which occur in approximately 50% of the dogs.A definite diagnosis of nasal aspergillosis should reasonably be based on at least three positive diagnostic tests, including direct visualization of fungal colonies with rhinoscopy. Differentiation from other causes of chronic nasal disease is mainly based on the imaging findings, rhinoscopy and histology.

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