Sectional anatomic and magnetic resonance imaging features of the head of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

Alberto Arencibia Department of Morphology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas (Las Palmas), Spain.

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María R. Hidalgo Department of Morphology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas (Las Palmas), Spain.

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José M. Vázquez Department of Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain.

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Samuel Contreras Department of Morphology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas (Las Palmas), Spain.

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Gregorio Ramírez Department of Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain.

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Jorge Orós Department of Morphology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas (Las Palmas), Spain.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare anatomic features of cross-sectional specimens with those of MRI images of the heads of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

Animals—5 cadavers of juvenile female loggerhead sea turtles.

Procedures—Spin-echo T1-weighted and T2-weighted MRI scans were obtained in sagittal, transverse, and dorsal planes with a 0.2-T magnet and head coil. Head specimens were grossly dissected and photographed. Anatomic features of the MRI images were compared with those of gross anatomic sections of the heads from 4 of these turtles.

Results—In the MRI images, anatomic details of the turtles' heads were identified by the characteristics of signal intensity of various tissues. Relevant anatomic structures were identified and labeled on the MRI images and corresponding anatomic sections.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The MRI images obtained through this study provided valid information on anatomic characteristics of the head in juvenile loggerhead sea turtles and should be useful for guiding clinical evaluation of this anatomic region in this species.

Abstract

Objective—To compare anatomic features of cross-sectional specimens with those of MRI images of the heads of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

Animals—5 cadavers of juvenile female loggerhead sea turtles.

Procedures—Spin-echo T1-weighted and T2-weighted MRI scans were obtained in sagittal, transverse, and dorsal planes with a 0.2-T magnet and head coil. Head specimens were grossly dissected and photographed. Anatomic features of the MRI images were compared with those of gross anatomic sections of the heads from 4 of these turtles.

Results—In the MRI images, anatomic details of the turtles' heads were identified by the characteristics of signal intensity of various tissues. Relevant anatomic structures were identified and labeled on the MRI images and corresponding anatomic sections.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The MRI images obtained through this study provided valid information on anatomic characteristics of the head in juvenile loggerhead sea turtles and should be useful for guiding clinical evaluation of this anatomic region in this species.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by the national project I + D REN2000-1753 MAR and the Environmental Department of the Canary Islands Government.

The authors thank Dr. M. Encinoso for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Arencibia (aarencibia@dmor.ulpgc.es).
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