Two-Dimensional Topographic Description of the Small Cetacean Liver and Adjacent Structures For Ultrasonographic Examination
IAAAM Archive
Josep M. Alonso1; Eduard Degollada2
1North-Western Spain Marine Animals Stranding Network (CEMMA - IIM-CSIC), Gondomar, Pontevedra, Spain; 2Marine Mammal Conservation Research Unit, Dept. Morphology, School of Vet. Med., University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35416 Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain & Dept. Anatomy, Vet. Fac., Autonomous Univ. of Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain


Real-time ultrasonography is routinely used at present in the clinical protocols for veterinary practice, being considered a very useful method for detecting hepatic lesions in terrestrial mammals. The lack of specific examination protocols and two-dimensional topographic descriptions of small cetacean internal organs represents the main limitation for using ultrasonographic examination in these species.

Some ultrasonographically detectable hepatic lesions have been described post-mortem in marine mammals, including tumours, abscesses, cysts, lipidosis, and parasites, thus ultrasound examination could be considered as a useful diagnostic tool "in vivo" of these lesions. Moreover, a good anatomical knowledge of the liver topography and the adjacent organs will be essential for ultrasound guided fine-needle biopsies. The aim of this presentation is the description of the small cetaceans liver location in a plane-section format for an easy application to the imaging diagnostic methods, especially real-time ultrasonography.

For this purpose, three fresh carcasses of dead stranded common dolphins and one striped dolphin positioned in ventral recumbency were frozen in a box with water forming an ice block for a better parallel slicing. The dolphins were cut using an industrial saw in one centimetre thick transversal (two common dolphins), sagittal (one striped dolphin) and coronal sections (one common dolphin). Every body section was photographed and pictures were digitalized for full computer analysis and description.

Moreover, twenty-five animals, including dead and live dolphins belonging to four different species (common dolphin (18), striped dolphin (3), harbour porpoise (3) and a pilot whale calf) were ultrasonically examined using a real-time scanner with a 3'5 MHZ transducer. Transducer positioning was tested in live animals looking for best quality images: underwater keeping the animal in a natural position and out of the water after removing the dolphin from the pool.

Computed axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the entire body was also performed in a dead common dolphin.

The description and comparison of the different imaging methods applied and the dolphin body sections becomes a very helpful tool improving the knowledge of visceral topography. All these data represent a two-dimensional anatomical description of the dolphin liver, boundaries and structure, being a first step towards including ultrasonographic examination of this main organ in the clinical guidelines of diagnosis in small cetaceans.

Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Josep M. Alonso

Eduard Degollada

MAIN : Posters : Small Cetacean Liver
Powered By VIN