Ultrasonography of the liver, spleen, and urinary tract of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Ann Carstens, Robert M. Kirberger, Tim Spotswood, Wencke M. Wagner, Richard J. Grimbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diseases of the abdomen of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) include those affecting the liver, spleen, and urinary tract. The most common diseases of captive-bred cheetah are gastritis, gastric ulceration, glomerulosclerosis, and hepatic veno-occlusive disease, and are the most frequent causes of mortality in these animals. The purpose of this study was to describe the ultrasonographic anatomy of the normal liver, spleen, kidney, and urinary bladder of the anesthetized captive-bred cheetah. Twenty-one cheetahs were examined. Eight of the 21 animals had subclinical evidence of either gastritis or chronic renal disease. The ultrasonographic appearances of the liver, gall bladder, common bile duct, and spleen were evaluated and various measurements made. Statistical analyses of the measurements were performed on all the healthy and subclinically ill animals taking sex, age, mass, and anesthetic protocol into account. There were no significant differences in any parameters between the healthy and subclinically ill animals (P>0.25) and data were combined for statistical analyses. The mean mass was 41.1 kg (±8.8) and the mean age was 5.0 years (±2.2). The mean thickness of the liver medial to the gall bladder was 67.0 mm (±14.8) and the liver was within the left costal arch in 75% of animals, extended caudal to the right costal arch in 50% of animals for an average of 30 mm, and extended caudal to the sternum in 63% of animals for an average of 32.5 mm. The maximum mean hepatic vein diameter at the entrance to the caudal vena cava was 8.6±2.8 mm; the mean diameters of the portal vein at the hilus and that of the caudal vena cava as it entered the liver were 7.5±1.6 and 9.9±4.1 mm, respectively. The mean diameter of the caudal vena cava was significantly affected by the type of anesthetic used (P<0.10). The mass of the animals was significant in explaining the variance in maximum portal vein diameters (P<0.10). The mean maximum velocity of the hepatic vein flow at the entrance to the caudal vena cava was 25.3±2.8 cm/s (n=4), the hilar portal vein was 11.7±3.3 cm/s (n=7), and the caudal vena cava was 33.8±19.8 cm/s (n=5). The mean maximum gall bladder length and width, and the mean common bile duct diameters were 44.6 mm (±10.4), 23.3 mm (±5.0), and 8.1 mm (±2.4), respectively. Age was significant in explaining the variance in gall bladder lengths (P<0.10). Urinary tract ultrasonography was performed only in animals that had normal urea and creatinine levels (n=13). Renal cortico-medullary distinction was present in all kidneys and a cortico-medullary rim sign was seen in 21 of 26 kidneys. Mean kidney length, height, and width was 63.9±5.7, 38.1±5.2, and 42.1±5 mm, respectively. The average resistivity index was 0.58 (n=5). Mean urinary bladder length, height, and width were 57.0, 19.2, and 34.9 mm, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2006

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