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Spot radiograph from a double contrast oesophagram.
There are numerous 1-2 mm radiolucent folds across the oesophagus. The folds are angled with respect to the center of the oesophagus in a "herringbone" pattern.
The folds occur transiently.
1 case question available
Feline oesophagus appears when the oesophagus contracts longitudinally and the term arises from its supposed similarity to the appearance of cat esophageal motion (although why barium studies were being performed in cats is still a mystery). The appearance has also been termed "oesophageal shiver", which may be a better name since it implies that the oesophagus is reacting to a semi-noxious stimulus. Thanks to Liz Chorney, MD for capturing this at just the right moment.
The main importance of recognizing this sign is twofold:
- 1. Gohel VK, Edell SL, Laufer I et-al. Transverse folds in the human esophagus. Radiology. 1978;128 (2): 303-8. doi:10.1148/128.2.303 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Samadi F, Levine MS, Rubesin SE et-al. Feline esophagus and gastroesophageal reflux. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010;194 (4): 972-6. doi:10.2214/AJR.09.3352 - Pubmed citation