The sternal lymph nodes receive drainage from a wide variety of structures in the thoraco-abdominal region. Evaluation of these lymph nodes is essential, especially in cancer patients. Computed tomography (CT) can detect sternal lymph nodes more accurately than radiography or ultrasonography, and the criteria of the sternal lymphadenopathy are unknown. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe the CT characteristics of the sternal lymph nodes in dogs considered unlikely to have lymphadenopathy. The ratio of the short axis dimension of the sternal lymph nodes to the thickness of the second sternebra was also investigated. At least one sternal lymph node was identified in each of the 152 dogs included in the study. The mean long axis and short axis dimensions were 0.700 cm and 0.368 cm, respectively. The mean ratio of the sternal lymph nodes to the second sternebrae was 0.457, and the 95% prediction interval ranged from 0.317 to 0.596 (almost a fixed value independent of body weight). These findings will be useful when evaluating sternal lymphadenopathy using CT.

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