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  • Author or Editor: Susanne M. Stieger-Vanegas x
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Objective—To evaluate the osseous structures of the external acoustic meatus, tympanic cavity, and tympanic bulla of llamas (Lama glama) by use of computed tomography (CT) and establish measurement values for use in detection of abnormalities associated with the external or middle ear in llamas.

Animals—10 adult llama heads without any evidence of ear disease.

Procedures—Heads of 10 healthy llamas euthanized by use of a captive bolt striking the dorsal aspect of the skull were collected. Transverse images of the heads were acquired with 1-mm slice thickness, and images were reconstructed in sagittal and dorsal planes. Measurements of the bony structures of the external and middle ear of each head were obtained.

Results—The osseous external acoustic meatus curved ventrally as it tracked medially. Its narrowest portion was located at the level of the tympanic annulus. The tympanic bulla conformation differed widely from the bubble-shaped tympanic bulla in dogs and cats. The bulla was divided by the stylohyoid fossa into a larger caudolateral and a smaller caudomedial process; its interior had a honeycombed structure with pneumatized cells similar to the honeycombed appearance of the human mastoid process.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provided new information regarding the shape and dimensions of the osseous external and middle ear structures in adult llamas without ear disease. Specific landmarks for location of the external acoustic meatus, tympanic cavity, and tympanic bulla in relation to each other were identified. Knowledge of the CT appearance of normal structures will help clinicians to identify changes attributable to middle ear otitis, external ear canal stenosis, or congenital malformations of the ear in this species.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the accuracy of cardiac output (CO) estimated by use of ECG-gated multidetector CT (MDCT) and 1-, 2-, and 3-D echocardiography and by use of thermodilution.

ANIMALS 6 healthy hound-cross dogs.

PROCEDURES Electrocardiogram-gated contrast-enhanced 64-slice MDCT and 1-, 2-, and 3-D echocardiography were performed on each dog. The CO for ECG-gated MDCT was calculated as volumetric measurements of stroke volume multiplied by mean heart rate. Echocardiographic left ventricle end-diastolic volumes and end-systolic volumes were measured by use of the Teichholz method (1-D echocardiography) and a single-plane method of disks (2-D echocardiography). Real-time 3-D echocardiographic left ventricle volumes were measured with 3-D functional analysis software on right long-axis and left apical views. The CO of each dog was measured in triplicate by use of thermodilution. Mean CO values, correlations, and limits of agreement for MDCT, echocardiographic modalities, and thermodilution were compared.

RESULTS CO measured by use of MDCT, 2-D echocardiography, and 3-D echocardiography had the strongest correlations with CO measured by use of thermodilution. No significant difference in CO was detected between MDCT, any echocardiographic method, and thermodilution. Bland-Altman analysis revealed a systematic underestimation of CO derived by use of MDCT, 2-D echocardiography, and 3-D echocardiography.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of MDCT, 2-D echocardiography, and 3-D echocardiography to measure CO in healthy dogs was feasible. Measures of CO determined by use of 3-D echocardiography on the right long-axis view were strongly correlated with CO determined by use of thermodilution, with little variance and slight underestimation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess the feasibility and usefulness of CT enterography to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract in clinically normal llamas and alpacas.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—7 clinically normal alpacas and 8 clinically normal llamas.

Procedures—The imaging protocol included orogastric administration of iodinated contrast material mixed with water. Three hours later, helical CT scanning was performed of the entire abdomen with transverse and multiplanar sagittal and dorsal projections before and after IV iodinated contrast agent injection.

Results—Both oral and IV contrast agents were well tolerated, and no adverse reactions were observed. Transverse images depicted the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas in the short axis; however, dorsal and sagittal projections aided in localizing and differentiating the various gastrointestinal segments, including the pancreas. In all camelids, the wall of the gastrointestinal tract was well differentiated. In all but 2 camelids, all gastrointestinal segments were well visualized and differentiated. In those 2 animals, the cecum was difficult to identify. Good distention of the small intestine was achieved by use of the oral contrast agent. The dorsal projections were useful to identify the pancreas in its entire length.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The present study supplied new information about gastrointestinal wall thickness, intestinal diameter, and location of the pancreas and ileocecocolic junction in alpacas and llamas. Multiplanar contrast-enhanced CT was useful to reveal the various segments of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and abdominal lymph nodes. The shorter time delay before imaging, compared with the delay with conventional barium studies, makes this technique complementary or superior to conventional radiographic or ultrasonographic studies for evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To compare left ventricle (LV) volume and function variables obtained by use of 1-D, 2-D, and real-time 3-D echocardiography versus ECG-gated multidetector row CT (MDCT) angiography, which was considered the criterion-referenced standard.

ANIMALS 6 healthy, purpose-bred dogs.

PROCEDURES Dogs were anesthetized and administered a constant rate infusion of esmolol, and 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D echocardiography and ECG-gated, contrast-enhanced MDCT were performed. End-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), stroke volume, and ejection fraction (EF) were calculated by use of the Teichholz method for 1-D echocardiography, single-plane and biplane modified Simpson method of disks (MOD) and area-length method for 2-D echocardiography, and real-time biplane echocardiography (RTBPE) and real-time 3-D echocardiography (RT3DE) for 3-D echocardiography. Volumes were indexed to body surface area and body weight. Median values, correlations, and limits of agreement were compared between echocardiographic modalities and MDCT.

RESULTS EDV and ESV measured by use of RTBPE and RT3DE had the strongest correlations with results for MDCT. Values obtained for EDV, ESV, stroke volume, and EF did not differ significantly between echocardiographic methods and MDCT. Use of RT3DE and RTBPE slightly underestimated EDV, ESV, and EF, compared with values for MDCT, as determined with Bland-Altman analysis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Values for EDV and ESV obtained by use of 3-D echocardiography, including RTBPE and RT3DE, had the highest correlation with slight underestimation, compared with values obtained by use of MDCT. This was similar to results for 3-D echocardiography in human medicine.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize and quantitatively assess the typical pulmonary anatomy of healthy adult alpacas with multidetector row CT.

Animals—10 clinically normal adult female alpacas.

Procedures—CT examination of the thorax was performed before and after IV administration of iodinated contrast medium in sedated alpacas in sternal recumbency. Measurements of the trachea, bronchi and related blood vessels, and selected vertebrae as well as the extent and density of lung parenchyma were performed with a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) viewer. Morphometric and quantitative data were summarized.

Results—Separation of individual lung lobes could not be identified, except for the accessory lung lobe. In all alpacas, both lungs extended farther caudally at the medial aspect than at the lateral aspect. The right lung extended farther in both cranial and caudal directions than did the left lung. The branching pattern of the bronchial tree varied only slightly among alpacas and consisted of 1 cranial bronchus and 3 caudal bronchi bilaterally, with a right accessory bronchus. Luminal diameters of first-generation bronchi ranged from 3 to 9 mm. Mean ± SD parenchymal lung density was −869 ± 40 Hounsfield units (HU) before contrast injection and −825 ± 51 HU after contrast injection. Mean difference in diameter between bronchi and associated arteries or veins was 0.8 ± 0.9 mm.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Knowledge of the typical anatomy of the lungs and bronchial tree in healthy alpacas as determined via CT will aid veterinarians in clinical assessment and bronchoscopic evaluation of alpacas.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research