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
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)