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  • Author or Editor: Annemie I. Van Caelenberg x
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Objective—To obtain a detailed anatomic description of the rabbit head by means of computed tomography (CT).

Animals—6 clinically normal Dendermonde White rabbits weighing 3 kg and raised for human consumption and 1 Netherland dwarf rabbit.

Procedures—The commercially raised rabbits were slaughtered in a slaughterhouse, flayed, and decapitated. The dwarf rabbit was euthanatized. Two hours later, each rabbit head was positioned with the ventral side on the CT table to obtain transverse and sagittal, 1-mm-thick slices. Dorsal images were obtained by placing each head perpendicular to the table. Immediately after the CT examination, 3 heads were frozen in an ice cube at −14°C until solid and then sectioned at 4-mm-thick intervals by use of an electric band saw. Slab sections were immediately cleaned, photographed, and compared with corresponding CT images. Anatomic sections were examined, and identified anatomic structures were matched with structures on corresponding CT images.

Results—The bone-window CT images yielded good anatomic detail of the dentition and the bony structures of rabbit skulls. The soft tissue structures that could be determined were not better identifiable on the soft tissue–window CT images than on the bone-window images.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CT images of the heads of healthy rabbits yielded detailed information on the skull and some surrounding soft tissue structures. Results of this study could be used as a guide for evaluation of CT images of rabbits with various cranial and dental disorders.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To describe the anatomic features of dentition and surrounding structures of the head in rabbits assessed by use of a newly developed micro-computed tomography (CT) device.

Sample—Cadavers of 7 clinically normal adult Dendermonde White domestic rabbits raised for human consumption.

Procedures—The rabbits were slaughtered in a slaughterhouse, flayed, and decapitated; the rabbit heads were frozen for micro-CT examination. Transverse images were obtained from the nares to the occipital condyles with a custom-designed micro-CT scanner built at the Ghent University Centre for X-ray Tomography. Scan settings were chosen to highlight bony structures on the basis of the designers' experience. The micro-CT images were reviewed, and all recognizable anatomic features were labeled. Afterward, micro-CT images were used to create 3-D reconstructions by use of a custom-developed reconstruction package and 3-D rendering with dedicated software.

Results—Microstructures of the bones and teeth were clearly visible on micro-CT images. Conversely, soft tissue contrast was relatively poor on these images.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Micro-CT appeared to be a promising technique for appropriate diagnosis of dental disease in rabbits. Further research is needed to determine the clinical applications of micro-CT imaging.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research