Objective—To compare cross-sectional anatomic specimens with images obtained via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the coelomic structures of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).
Animals—5 clinically normal live turtles and 5 dead turtles.
Procedures—MRI was used to produce T1- and T2- weighted images of the turtles, which were compared with gross anatomic sections of 3 of the 5 dead turtles. The other 2 dead turtles received injection with latex and were dissected to provide additional cardiovascular anatomic data.
Results—The general view on the 3 oriented planes provided good understanding of cross-sectional anatomic features. Likewise, major anatomic structures such as the esophagus, stomach, lungs, intestine (duodenum and colon), liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, urinary bladder, heart, bronchi, and vessels could be clearly imaged. It was not possible to recognize the ureters or reproductive tract.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By providing reference information for clinical use, MRI may be valuable for detailed assessment of the internal anatomic structures of loggerhead sea turtles. Drawbacks exist in association with anesthesia and the cost and availability of MRI, but the technique does provide excellent images of most internal organs. Information concerning structures such as the pancreas, ureters, intestinal segments (jejunum and ileum), and the reproductive tract is limited because of inconsistent visualization.