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Ultrasonographic measurement of the pancreas and pancreatic duct in clinically normal dogs

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  • 1 Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Centro Veterinario Specialisito, Via Giovannini 51-53, Roma, Italy 00137.
  • | 3 Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To obtain ultrasonographic reference values for the thickness of the pancreas and the diameter of the pancreatic duct in clinically normal dogs.

Animals—242 adult dogs with no clinical signs of gastrointestinal tract disease.

Procedures—The maximum pancreatic thickness and the diameter of the pancreatic duct were recorded ultrasonographically at the level of the left lobe, body, and right lobe of the pancreas.

Results—Mean ± SD pancreatic thickness measurements were as follows: left lobe, 6.5 ± 1.7 mm (n = 214); body, 6.3 ± 1.6 mm (155); and right lobe, 8.1 ± 1.8 mm (239). The mean pancreatic duct diameter was 0.6 ± 0.2 mm (n = 42) in the left lobe and 0.7 ± 0.2 mm (213) in the right lobe. The right pancreatic duct was visible in 213/242 (88.0%) dogs, and the left pancreatic duct was visible in 41/242 (16.9%) dogs. However, the body was visible in only 16/242 (6.6%) dogs. Pancreatic thickness and diameter of the pancreatic duct significantly increased with body weight in all lobes, but age was not correlated with the measurements.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ultrasonographic reference values for the pancreas and pancreatic duct of dogs were determined. Results of this study indicated that the pancreatic duct was visible, especially in the right lobe of the pancreas. These values may be useful for the assessment of pancreatic abnormalities, such as chronic pancreatitis and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Abstract

Objective—To obtain ultrasonographic reference values for the thickness of the pancreas and the diameter of the pancreatic duct in clinically normal dogs.

Animals—242 adult dogs with no clinical signs of gastrointestinal tract disease.

Procedures—The maximum pancreatic thickness and the diameter of the pancreatic duct were recorded ultrasonographically at the level of the left lobe, body, and right lobe of the pancreas.

Results—Mean ± SD pancreatic thickness measurements were as follows: left lobe, 6.5 ± 1.7 mm (n = 214); body, 6.3 ± 1.6 mm (155); and right lobe, 8.1 ± 1.8 mm (239). The mean pancreatic duct diameter was 0.6 ± 0.2 mm (n = 42) in the left lobe and 0.7 ± 0.2 mm (213) in the right lobe. The right pancreatic duct was visible in 213/242 (88.0%) dogs, and the left pancreatic duct was visible in 41/242 (16.9%) dogs. However, the body was visible in only 16/242 (6.6%) dogs. Pancreatic thickness and diameter of the pancreatic duct significantly increased with body weight in all lobes, but age was not correlated with the measurements.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ultrasonographic reference values for the pancreas and pancreatic duct of dogs were determined. Results of this study indicated that the pancreatic duct was visible, especially in the right lobe of the pancreas. These values may be useful for the assessment of pancreatic abnormalities, such as chronic pancreatitis and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Robin Ruthazer for assistance with the statistical analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Penninck (Dominique.Penninck@tufts.edu).