Ultrasonographic appearance of the ovaries of dogs during the follicular and luteal phases of the estrous cycle

Shellie S. Wallace From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Wallace), Anatomy and Radiology (Mahaffey), Athens Diagnostic Laboratory (Miller), and Physiology and Pharmacology (Thompson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the United Services Uniform Health Services Medical College, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Chakraborty).

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Mary B. Mahaffey From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Wallace), Anatomy and Radiology (Mahaffey), Athens Diagnostic Laboratory (Miller), and Physiology and Pharmacology (Thompson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the United Services Uniform Health Services Medical College, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Chakraborty).

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Doris M. Miller From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Wallace), Anatomy and Radiology (Mahaffey), Athens Diagnostic Laboratory (Miller), and Physiology and Pharmacology (Thompson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the United Services Uniform Health Services Medical College, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Chakraborty).

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Fred N. Thompson From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Wallace), Anatomy and Radiology (Mahaffey), Athens Diagnostic Laboratory (Miller), and Physiology and Pharmacology (Thompson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the United Services Uniform Health Services Medical College, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Chakraborty).

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Prabir K. Chakraborty From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Wallace), Anatomy and Radiology (Mahaffey), Athens Diagnostic Laboratory (Miller), and Physiology and Pharmacology (Thompson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the United Services Uniform Health Services Medical College, Bethesda, MD 20814 (Chakraborty).

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Summary

Ultrasonography of the ovaries of 10 bitches was performed daily, using a 7.5-Mhz transducer with a built-in stand-off pad, from the onset of proestrus until the onset of metestrus. Ovarian size, shape, location, echogenicity, follicular development, and apparent ovulation were monitored. Blood samples were collected twice daily for luteinizing hormone determination and daily for progesterone determination. Vaginal smears were made daily for cytologic evaluation. Ultrasonograms were evaluated independent of hormonal and cytologic data, and the day of ovulation was noted. Initially, the ovaries were uniform and had an echogenicity that was equal to or slightly greater than that of the renal cortex. Follicles appeared as focal hypoechoic to anechoic rounded structures. Ovaries were easier to identify as follicular development progressed. Ovarian size increased with time. Apparent ovulation was characterized by a decrease in number of follicles seen from 1 day to the next, but 1 or more follicles remained in at least 1 ovary of 7 of 10 bitches. The ovaries had an oval shape that became rounded after ovulation. At some time after ovulation, all bitches had cystic (anechoic) structures indistinguishable from follicles. These structures increased in echogenicity and decreased in size with time and may have been follicles that did not ovulate, corpora hemorrhagica, fluid-filled corpora lutea, or cyctic luteinized follicles. Time of ovulation determined by ultrasonography paralleled that predicted on the basis of hormonal data in 9 of 10 bitches and with cytologic findings in all bitches.

Summary

Ultrasonography of the ovaries of 10 bitches was performed daily, using a 7.5-Mhz transducer with a built-in stand-off pad, from the onset of proestrus until the onset of metestrus. Ovarian size, shape, location, echogenicity, follicular development, and apparent ovulation were monitored. Blood samples were collected twice daily for luteinizing hormone determination and daily for progesterone determination. Vaginal smears were made daily for cytologic evaluation. Ultrasonograms were evaluated independent of hormonal and cytologic data, and the day of ovulation was noted. Initially, the ovaries were uniform and had an echogenicity that was equal to or slightly greater than that of the renal cortex. Follicles appeared as focal hypoechoic to anechoic rounded structures. Ovaries were easier to identify as follicular development progressed. Ovarian size increased with time. Apparent ovulation was characterized by a decrease in number of follicles seen from 1 day to the next, but 1 or more follicles remained in at least 1 ovary of 7 of 10 bitches. The ovaries had an oval shape that became rounded after ovulation. At some time after ovulation, all bitches had cystic (anechoic) structures indistinguishable from follicles. These structures increased in echogenicity and decreased in size with time and may have been follicles that did not ovulate, corpora hemorrhagica, fluid-filled corpora lutea, or cyctic luteinized follicles. Time of ovulation determined by ultrasonography paralleled that predicted on the basis of hormonal data in 9 of 10 bitches and with cytologic findings in all bitches.

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