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  • Author or Editor: Ted S. G. A. M. van den Ingh x
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Objective—To determine ultrasonographic abnormalities in dogs with hyperammonemia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—90 client-owned dogs with hyperammonemia.

Procedure—Ultrasonography of the abdominal vessels and organs was performed in a systematic way. Dogs in which the ultrasonographic diagnosis was a congenital portosystemic shunt were included only if they underwent laparotomy or necropsy. Dogs in which the abdominal vasculature appeared normal and dogs in which the ultrasonographic diagnosis was acquired portosystemic shunts and portal hypertension were included only if liver biopsy specimens were submitted for histologic examination.

Results—Ultrasonography excluded portosystemic shunting in 11 dogs. Acquired portosystemic shunts were found in 17 dogs, of which 3 had arterioportal fistulae and 14 had other hepatic abnormalities. Congenital portosystemic shunts were found in 61 dogs, of which 19 had intrahepatic shunts and 42 had extrahepatic shunts. Intrahepatic shunts originated from the left portal branch in 14 dogs and the right portal branch in 5. Extrahepatic shunts originated from the splenic vein, the right gastric vein, or both and entered the caudal vena cava or the thorax. Ultrasonography revealed splenic-caval shunts in 24 dogs, right gastric-caval shunts in 9 dogs, splenic-azygos shunts in 8 dogs, and a right gastric-azygos shunt in 1 dog.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that ultrasonography is a reliable diagnostic method to noninvasively characterize the underlying disease in dogs with hyperammonemia. A dilated left testicular or ovarian vein was a reliable indicator of acquired portosystemic shunts. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:717–727)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine size and weight of the pituitary gland and associations between pituitary gland size and weight and sex and age in horses without clinical signs associated with pituitary pars intermedia adenoma (PPIA) and horses and ponies with PPIA.

Animals—Pituitary glands from 100 horses without clinical signs of PPIA and 19 horses and 17 ponies with PPIA.

Procedures—Pituitary glands were weighed, measured, and examined histologically by use of H&E stain. Masson trichrome and periodic acid-Schiff staining were used, when appropriate. Histologic lesions in the pars intermedia, pars distalis, or both were classified as no significant lesions, single or multiple cysts, focal or multifocal hyperplasia, single or multiple microadenomas, and adenoma. Relative pituitary weight (RPW) was calculated as pituitary weight (grams) divided by body weight (grams).

Results—There was an age-related increase in the presence of pituitary lesions in the pars distalis and pars intermedia in geldings, mares overall, and nonpregnant mares. Mean (± SD) RPW in horses with PPIA was not significantly different from ponies with PPIA (15 ± 5.9 X 10–6 and 16 ± 7.2 × 10–6, respectively). Maximum pituitary weight in a horse with PPIA was 13.9 g (RPW, 2.9 × 10–5). Plasma glucose concentration was positively correlated with RPW in ponies with PPIA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pituitary lesions may be a factor in horses with insulin resistance and laminitis before development of clinical signs of PPIA. Ovarian steroids may be involved in the pathogenesis of lesions in the pars intermedia. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1701–1707)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Nephrotomography and ultrasonography were used in 11 dogs with hyperadrenocorticism to assess the value of these techniques for the localization of biochemically diagnosed hyperfunctioning adrenocortical tumors. Both techniques enabled accurate localization of a unilateral adrenal mass in each of the dogs. Cross-sectional diameters of the masses ranged from 1 to 4 cm. In 1 dog, expansion of tumor into the caudal vena cava was revealed by caudal venacavography and ultrasonography. Mineralization in the tumor mass in 2 dogs was easily recognized by nephrotomography, but not by ultrasonography.

Paracostal laparotomy confirmed the presence of an adrenocortical tumor in each dog, and expansion of tumor into the caudal vena cava in 1 dog. Cross-sectional diameters of the tumors ranged from 1.2 to 4.5 cm and corresponded well with cross-sectional measurements by nephrotomography and ultrasonography.

It was concluded that nephrotomography and ultrasonography have similar diagnostic accuracies for the detection and localization of hyperfunctioning adrenocortical tumors.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research