Ultrasonographic-anatomic correlation and imaging protocol for the spleen in anesthetized dogs

A. K. W. Wood From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Wood, Angles) and Veterinary Anatomy (McCarthy), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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 MVSc, PhD
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Dr P. H. McCarthy From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Wood, Angles) and Veterinary Anatomy (McCarthy), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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J. M. Angles From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Wood, Angles) and Veterinary Anatomy (McCarthy), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

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 BVSc, BSc(Vet)

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SUMMARY

Sonographic and/or anatomic observations were made of the spleen in 27 dogs. Anatomic studies were used to establish precise correlations between the gross anatomic features of the organ and its ultrasonographic image. In 8 anesthetized dogs, ultrasonographic images of the spleen were made in dorsal, transverse, and sagittal planes. When it was incident to the ultrasonic beam, the splenic capsule was represented by a fine echogenic line that defined the boundaries of the organ. The splenic substance had a uniformly mottled echogenicity apart from the anechoic lumen of the splenic venous rami, which were detected at and near the hilus of the spleen. Less regularly, splenic arterial rami were detected at the hilus, but not within the splenic substance. Dorsal and transverse images were made with the ultrasonic transducer perpendicular to the left thoracic and abdominal wall at the 11th intercostal space and caudoventrad to it. Sagittal images were produced with the transducer's face directed craniad, placed parallel to the left lateral abdominal wall, and pushed under the costal arch. The adoption of such an ultrasonographic imaging protocol ensures that all of the spleen is inspected. A definitive opinion can then be given as to whether the spleen is normal or abnormal. Pathologic changes in the spleen must also be differentiated from changes in adjacent organs or structures.

SUMMARY

Sonographic and/or anatomic observations were made of the spleen in 27 dogs. Anatomic studies were used to establish precise correlations between the gross anatomic features of the organ and its ultrasonographic image. In 8 anesthetized dogs, ultrasonographic images of the spleen were made in dorsal, transverse, and sagittal planes. When it was incident to the ultrasonic beam, the splenic capsule was represented by a fine echogenic line that defined the boundaries of the organ. The splenic substance had a uniformly mottled echogenicity apart from the anechoic lumen of the splenic venous rami, which were detected at and near the hilus of the spleen. Less regularly, splenic arterial rami were detected at the hilus, but not within the splenic substance. Dorsal and transverse images were made with the ultrasonic transducer perpendicular to the left thoracic and abdominal wall at the 11th intercostal space and caudoventrad to it. Sagittal images were produced with the transducer's face directed craniad, placed parallel to the left lateral abdominal wall, and pushed under the costal arch. The adoption of such an ultrasonographic imaging protocol ensures that all of the spleen is inspected. A definitive opinion can then be given as to whether the spleen is normal or abnormal. Pathologic changes in the spleen must also be differentiated from changes in adjacent organs or structures.

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