Most frequently, the flat bones (ribs, scapula, and skull) are affected, but involvement of the femur, ulna and tibia have also been reported.
Aortic chondrosarcomas are usually locally invasive within the aortic intima and may cause dissecting aneurysms as they invade the aortic wall.
Some cases develop as secondary metastases from primary bone growths.
Clinically affected dogs usually present with vague cardiac symptoms associated with congestive heart failure (dyspnea, pale mucous membranes), syncope, neurological signs or associated limb pain due to thromboembolism. Rare cases of retinal detachment have also been reported. Concurrent pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism may contribute to development of this tumor.
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs and supportive imaging by radiographic or ultrasound. Echocardiographic examination may reveal an obstructive, intraluminal aortic mass.
A definitive diagnosis is difficult antemortem, and is usually based on histological examination of biopsied material.
Primary aortic malignancies can be treated by palliative resection, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. These solid body tumors are often refractory to adjuvant therapy in the form of radiation or chemotherapy and most cases succumb eventually to regional recurrence.
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