Cousens, C., Ewing, D, McKendrick, I.J., Todd, H., Dagleish, M. and Scott, P.R.
Veterinary Record, e1797. British Veterinary Association.
British Veterinary Association
||The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of high-throughput on-farm transthoracic ultrasound (TUS) to screen for ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), an infectious ovine disease of increasing concern. No other routine diagnosis of preclinical OPA is available, or any vaccine or treatment.
More than 80,000 rapid TUS scans were applied on farms with a history of OPA. The TUS results from a convenience sample of 171 TUS-negative and 269 TUS-positive sheep were compared with postmortem histology/immunohistochemistry results, the 'gold standard' reference test for OPA diagnosis. These results, together with new data on within-flock prevalence, allowed estimation of the efficacy of rapid TUS screening to identify OPA (defined as tumours of larger than 1 cm) on-farm.
The TUS screening had an estimated specificity of 0.998 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.998-0.999) and an estimated sensitivity of between 0.76 (95% CI: 0.72-0.79) and 0.99 (95% CI: 0.97-0.99) depending on the presumed false-negative rate applied to the calculation.
High-throughput TUS should be considered for screening to identify individual sheep with OPA and has potential application to indicate flocks at low risk of OPA. However, lower efficacy is likely if conducted by less experienced persons.