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Evaluation of gastrointestinal activity in healthy rabbits by means of duplex Doppler ultrasonography

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  • 1 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 2Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, UMass Medical School, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA 01655.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.

ANIMALS

10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.

PROCEDURES

Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.

RESULTS

Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use duplex Doppler ultrasonography to compare gastrointestinal activity in healthy sedated versus nonsedated rabbits and to evaluate agreement between B-mode and pulsed-wave Doppler (PWD) ultrasonographic measurements.

ANIMALS

10 healthy client-owned rabbits brought for routine physical examination and 11 brought for routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.

PROCEDURES

Duplex Doppler ultrasonography of the gastrointestinal tract was performed once for the 10 rabbits that underwent physical examination and twice (before and after presurgical sedation) for the 11 rabbits that underwent routine ovariohysterectomy or castration. Mean number of peristaltic contractions during a 30-second period was determined for the stomach, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon from B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic images that had been video recorded. Findings for the duodenum and jejunum were compared between B-mode and PWD ultrasonography and between sedated and nonsedated rabbits.

RESULTS

Duodenal and jejunal segments had measurable peristaltic waves; however, the stomach, cecum, and colon had no consistent measurable activity. B-mode and PWD ultrasonographic measurements for the duodenum and jejunum had high agreement. No significant difference was identified between nonsedated and sedated rabbits in mean number of peristaltic contractions of the duodenum or jejunum.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that both B-mode and PWD ultrasonography of the duodenum and jejunum may be suitable for noninvasive evaluation of small intestinal motility in rabbits and that the sedation protocol used in this study had no impact on measured peristaltic values.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Oura's present address is Veterinary Specialty Hospital, 10435 Sorrento Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92121.

Dr. Knafo's present address is Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, 197 Hance Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724.

Dr. Aarsvold's present address is Puchalski Equine Imaging, 911 Mustang Ct, Petaluma, CA 94954.

Dr. Gladden's present address is Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center, 360 Bluemound Rd, Waukesha, WI 53188.

Address correspondence to Dr. Oura (toura@ethosvet.com).