The aim of this study was to describe the clinical and diagnostic findings and outcome of cats with bicavitary effusion presenting to a referral centre. Medical records of cats presenting with bicavitary effusion were identified and their history, physical examination findings, clinicopathological data, diagnostic imaging findings, aetiology of bicavitary effusions (cardiac disease, neoplasia, infectious disease, sterile inflammatory disease, severe hypoalbuminaemia, trauma, coagulopathy or 'open' if no definitive diagnosis was reached) and outcome were recorded. Cox regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of death in cats with bicavitary effusion. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated for survival analysis. In total, 103 cats with bicavitary effusion were included. Neoplasia and cardiac disease were the most common aetiologies of bicavitary effusion, in 21 (20.4%) and 20 (19.4%) cats, respectively, followed by infectious disease (n = 11, 10.7%), trauma (n = 13, 12.6%), hypoalbuminaemia (n = 6, 5.8%), sterile inflammatory disease (n = 4, 3.9%) and coagulopathy (n = 1, 1.0%). The median survival time for all cats with bicavitary effusion was 3 days. Cats with a neoplastic aetiology had a 2.03 times greater risk of death compared with cats in which no diagnosis was achieved. Neoplasia (P = 0.030) and pedigree breed status (P = 0.016) were independent predictors of death in the multivariable Cox regression model. This study highlights that bicavitary effusions in cats generally carry a guarded to poor prognosis, particularly if neoplasia is the underlying aetiology or if the cat is a pedigree breed. Cardiac disease appeared to be associated with a better prognosis, suggesting that assessment for congestive heart failure should be considered early when evaluating cats with bicavitary effusion. The prognosis for cats with feline infectious peritonitis is likely to be markedly improved by the advent of novel antiviral drugs, compared with the historical cohort of cats presented here.

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