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Evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis

Lara A. CroftDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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John P. GrahamDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Susan A. SchafTurtle Hospital, 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050.

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Elliott R. JacobsonDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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 DVM, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To describe the gross cross-sectional anatomy of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—3 dead green turtles, 1 healthy green turtle, and 8 green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Procedures—Gross cross-sectional anatomy of a dead turtle was described. Each live turtle underwent a complete physical examination, and dorsoventral whole-body survey radiographic views were obtained. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in dorsal and transverse planes. Radiographs and magnetic resonance images were examined for evidence of internal nodules. Results were compared with necropsy findings in 5 of 8 turtles.

Results—Nodules in the lungs of 2 turtles were detected via radiography, whereas pulmonary nodules were detected in 5 turtles via MRI. No other visceral nodules were detected via radiography; however, masses in the stomach and adjacent to the bladder and kidneys were detected in 1 turtle via MRI. Other extrapulmonary abnormalities observed at necropsy were not detected on MR images.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—MRI may be valuable for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis. Nodules were more apparent in the lungs than in other organs. Results of MRI may serve as prognostic indicators for sea turtles undergoing assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. Clinical application may be limited by cost and availability of MRI technology. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1428–1435)

Abstract

Objective—To describe the gross cross-sectional anatomy of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—3 dead green turtles, 1 healthy green turtle, and 8 green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis.

Procedures—Gross cross-sectional anatomy of a dead turtle was described. Each live turtle underwent a complete physical examination, and dorsoventral whole-body survey radiographic views were obtained. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in dorsal and transverse planes. Radiographs and magnetic resonance images were examined for evidence of internal nodules. Results were compared with necropsy findings in 5 of 8 turtles.

Results—Nodules in the lungs of 2 turtles were detected via radiography, whereas pulmonary nodules were detected in 5 turtles via MRI. No other visceral nodules were detected via radiography; however, masses in the stomach and adjacent to the bladder and kidneys were detected in 1 turtle via MRI. Other extrapulmonary abnormalities observed at necropsy were not detected on MR images.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—MRI may be valuable for detection of internal tumors in green turtles with cutaneous fibropapillomatosis. Nodules were more apparent in the lungs than in other organs. Results of MRI may serve as prognostic indicators for sea turtles undergoing assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. Clinical application may be limited by cost and availability of MRI technology. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1428–1435)