To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.
10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.
Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.
Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.