Objective—To develop a technique for radiographic evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract in ball pythons (Python regius).
Samples—10 ball python cadavers (5 males and 5 females) and 18 healthy adult ball pythons (10 males and 8 females).
Procedures—Live snakes were allocated to 3 groups (A, B, and C). A dose (25 mL/kg) of barium sulfate suspension at 3 concentrations (25%, 35%, and 45% [wt/vol]) was administered through an esophageal probe to snakes in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Each evaluation ended when all the contrast medium had reached the large intestine. Transit times through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine were recorded. Imaging quality was evaluated by 3 investigators who assigned a grading score on the basis of predetermined criteria. Statistical analysis was conducted to evaluate differences in quality among the study groups.
Results—The esophagus and stomach had a consistent distribution pattern of contrast medium, whereas 3 distribution patterns of contrast medium were identified in the small intestine, regardless of barium concentration. Significant differences in imaging quality were detected among the 3 groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Radiographic procedures were tolerated well by all snakes. The 35% concentration of contrast medium yielded the best imaging quality. Use of contrast medium for evaluation of the cranial portion of the gastrointestinal tract could be a reliable technique for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases in ball pythons. However, results of this study may not translate to other snake species because of variables identified in this group of snakes.
Objective—To evaluate the radiographic, computed tomographic (CT), and cadaveric anatomy of the head of boa constrictors.
Animals—4 Boa constrictor imperator cadavers.
Procedures—Cadavers weighed 3.4 to 5.6 kg and had a body length ranging from 189 to 221 cm. Radiographic and CT images were obtained with a high-detail screen-film combination, and conventional CT was performed with a slice thickness of 1.5 mm. Radiographic images were obtained in ventrodorsal, dorsoventral, and left and right laterolateral recumbency; CT images were obtained with the animals positioned in ventral recumbency directly laying on a plastic support. At the end of the radiographic and CT imaging session, 2 heads were sectioned following a stratigraphic approach; the other 2, carefully maintained in the same position on the plastic support, were moved into a freezer (−20°C) until completely frozen and then sectioned into 3-mm slices, respecting the imaging protocol. The frozen sections were cleaned and then photographed on each side. Anatomic structures were identified and labeled on gross anatomic images and on the corresponding CT or radiographic image with the aid of available literature.
Results—Radiographic and CT images provided high detail for visualization of bony structures; soft tissues were not easily identified on radiographic and CT images.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provide an atlas of stratigraphic and cross-sectional gross anatomy and radiographic and CT anatomy of the heads of boa constrictors that might be useful in the interpretation of any imaging modality in this species.
Objective—To evaluate the precision and accuracy of assessing bone mineral density (BMD) by use of mean gray value (MGV) on digitalized and digital images of conventional and digital radiographs, respectively, of ex vivo bovine and equine bone specimens in relation to the gold-standard technique of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
Sample—Left and right metatarsal bones from 11 beef cattle and right femurs from 2 horses.
Procedures—Bovine specimens were imaged by use of conventional radiography, whereas equine specimens were imaged by use of computed radiography (digital radiography). Each specimen was subsequently scanned by use of the same DEXA equipment. The BMD values resulting from each DEXA scan were paired with the MGVs obtained by use of software on the corresponding digitalized or digital radiographic image.
Results—The MGV analysis of digitalized and digital x-ray images was a precise (coefficient of variation, 0.1 and 0.09, respectively) and highly accurate method for assessing BMD, compared with DEXA (correlation coefficient, 0.910 and 0.937 for conventional and digital radiography, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The high correlation between MGV and BMD indicated that MGV analysis may be a reliable alternative to DEXA in assessing radiographic bone density. This may provide a new, inexpensive, and readily available estimate of BMD.
Objective—To determine ultrasonographic features and reference values of the anatomy of the abdomen of common rats (Rattus norvegicus).
Animals—20 adult male and 20 adult female rats.
Procedures—A complete abdominal ultrasonographic examination was performed with the rats sedated. The cadavers of 4 rats were used for anatomic comparisons. Two cadavers were dissected and 2 cadavers were frozen and then cross-sectioned by use of an electric bandsaw. Slices were cleaned with water and photographed on each side. Correlations between variables were determined.
Results—The ultrasonographic anatomy of the abdomen was determined, including measurements of the kidneys and adrenal glands and thickness of the walls of the stomach (saccus caecus, fundus, and pylorus), duodenum, and cecum. A significant positive correlation between kidney size and body weight was detected. The dorsoventral measurements of the left and right adrenal gland were significantly different, regardless of sex. Dorsoventral measurements of the right adrenal gland were significantly different between males and females.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ultrasonographic images and data provided an atlas of the ultrasonographic anatomy of common rats that may be useful to veterinary radiologists, clinicians, and researchers.
Objective—To determine the ultrasonographic features of the coelomic organs of healthy snakes belonging to the Boidae and Pythonidae families.
Animals—16 ball pythons (Python regius; 7 males, 8 females, and 1 sexually immature), 10 Indian rock pythons (Python molurus molurus; 5 males, 4 females, and 1 sexually immature), 12 Python curtus (5 males and 7 females), and 8 boa constrictors (Boa constrictor imperator; 4 males and 4 females).
Procedures—All snakes underwent complete ultrasonographic evaluation of the coelomic cavity; chemical restraint was not necessary. A dorsolateral approach to probe placement was chosen to increase image quality and to avoid injury to the snakes and operators. Qualitative and quantitative observations were recorded.
Results—The liver, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines, kidneys, cloaca, and scent glands were identified in all snakes. The hemipenes were identified in 10 of the 21 (48%) male snakes. The spleen was identified in 5 of the 46 (11%) snakes, and ureters were identified in 6 (13%). In 2 sexually immature snakes, the gonads were not visible. One (2%) snake was gravid, and 7 (15%) had small amounts of free fluid in the coelomic cavity. A significant positive correlation was identified between several measurements (diameter and thickness of scent glands, gastric and pyloric walls, and colonic wall) and body length (snout to vent) and body weight.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The study findings can be used as an atlas of the ultrasonographic anatomy of the coelomic cavity in healthy boid snakes. Ultrasonography was reasonably fast to perform and was well tolerated in conscious snakes.
OBJECTIVE To predict histologic grade of meningiomas in dogs via texture analysis (TA) of MRI scans of the brain and spinal cord.
SAMPLE 58 sets of MRI scans of the brain and spinal cord of dogs with histologically diagnosed meningioma.
PROCEDURES MRI sequences were divided into a training set and a test set, and results of histologic assessment were obtained. Tumors were histologically grouped as benign (stage I) or atypical-anaplastic (stage II or III). Texture analysis was performed by use of specialized software on T2-weighted (T2W) and pre- and postcontrast T1-weighted (T1W) images. A set of 30 texture features that provided the highest discriminating power between the 2 histologic classes in the training set was automatically selected by the TA software. Linear discriminant analysis was performed, and the most discriminant factor (MDF) was calculated. The previously selected texture features were then used for linear discriminant analysis of the test set data, and the MDF was calculated.
RESULTS For the training set, TA of precontrast T1W images provided the best diagnostic accuracy; a cutoff MDF of < 0.0057 resulted in a sensitivity of 97.4% and specificity of 95.0% for discriminating benign from atypical-anaplastic meningiomas. Use of postcontrast T1W and T2W images yielded poorer diagnostic performances. Application of the MDF cutoff calculated with the training set to the MDF calculated with the test set provided a correct classification rate of 96.8% for precontrast T1W images, 92.0% for postcontrast T1W images, and 78.9% for T2W images.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings supported the potential clinical usefulness of TA of MRI scans for the grading of meningiomas in dogs.