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Evaluation of three-dimensional ultrasonography of the bovine mammary gland

Sonja FranzII Medical University Clinic for Ruminants and Swine, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1021 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, Austria.

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Margarete M. Hofmann-ParisotInstitute of Medical Physics and Biostatistics, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1021 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, Austria.

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Walter BaumgartnerII Medical University Clinic for Ruminants and Swine, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1021 Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, Austria.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate 3-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonography of the bovine mammary gland, particularly of the teat.

Animals—6 lactating cows.

Procedures—Clinical and ultrasonographic examinations of mammary glands of each cow were performed. Teats were removed from a slaughtered cow and examined via ultrasonography. All scans were performed by use of a sensorless standard transducer (8.5 to 10 MHz linear array). The 2-dimensional data acquired were downloaded to an off-line system, and software was used to digitize each image and produce a 3-D block of digitized information. The selected anatomic area was displayed as a 3-D volume cube.

Results—Good-quality, 3-D views of the entire mammary gland were acquired by obtaining sections through the glandular parenchyma, gland cistern, teat cistern, and teat canal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—3-D ultrasonography allows perspective images of the mammary gland to be obtained. Many scanners routinely used in veterinary practice have the resolution required to produce satisfactory images, and the cost of refitting a standard ultrasonographic unit with 3-D software is affordable; however, the cost of a volume transducer with a positioning system and mechanical sweep strategy may be prohibitive. Three-dimensional ultrasonography is a new imaging technique that has promising applications in many fields of veterinary medicine. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1159–1163)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate 3-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonography of the bovine mammary gland, particularly of the teat.

Animals—6 lactating cows.

Procedures—Clinical and ultrasonographic examinations of mammary glands of each cow were performed. Teats were removed from a slaughtered cow and examined via ultrasonography. All scans were performed by use of a sensorless standard transducer (8.5 to 10 MHz linear array). The 2-dimensional data acquired were downloaded to an off-line system, and software was used to digitize each image and produce a 3-D block of digitized information. The selected anatomic area was displayed as a 3-D volume cube.

Results—Good-quality, 3-D views of the entire mammary gland were acquired by obtaining sections through the glandular parenchyma, gland cistern, teat cistern, and teat canal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—3-D ultrasonography allows perspective images of the mammary gland to be obtained. Many scanners routinely used in veterinary practice have the resolution required to produce satisfactory images, and the cost of refitting a standard ultrasonographic unit with 3-D software is affordable; however, the cost of a volume transducer with a positioning system and mechanical sweep strategy may be prohibitive. Three-dimensional ultrasonography is a new imaging technique that has promising applications in many fields of veterinary medicine. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1159–1163)