Comparison of ultrasound biomicroscopy and standard ocular ultrasonography for detection of canine uveal cysts

LaTisha N Taylor, Purdue University


Canine uveal cysts are anatomically localized to regions within the eye not easily visualized during routine ophthalmic examination. In order to establish the clinical relevance of uveal cysts in certain disease processes as cyst-associated glaucoma, and/or golden retriever pigmentary uveitis, a more sensitive diagnostic tool needs to be established. The purpose of the study was to compare ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) with standard ocular ultrasonography for detection of canine uveal cysts and to determine the sensitivity, specificity, and interobserver agreement for detection of uveal cysts with UBM. Two hundred and two eyes were enucleated from 101 dogs. Two examiners examined 202 eyes by means of UBM (50 MHz) to identify uveal cysts. A board-certified radiologist then examined 98 of the 202 eyes by means of standard ocular ultrasonography (7- to 12-MHz linear transducer). Subsequently, one examiner dissected all 202 eyes under magnification from an operating microscope to definitively identify uveal cysts. Each examiner was masked to other examiners’ findings. Sensitivity, specificity, and interobserver agreement were calculated for detection of cysts by UBM. The results of this study demonstrated that uveal cysts were detected by UBM in 55 of 202 (27%) eyes by one examiner and 29 of 202 (14%) eyes by the other. No cysts were detected in the 98 eyes examined with standard ocular ultrasonography. Dissection results revealed that cysts were present in 64 of 202 (32%) eyes including 29 of 98 (30%) eyes examined by standard ocular ultrasonography. The mean sensitivity of UBM for cyst detection was 47%; mean specificity was 92%. Uveal cysts not identified with UBM were often small (mean diameter, 490 µm). Interobserver agreement was high (? = 0.81). In conclusion, UBM was more effective than standard ocular ultrasonography for detection of uveal cysts in enucleated eyes. Small diameter cysts can be difficult to visualize even with UBM.




Townsend, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Medical imaging|Veterinary services

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