Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Ultrasonography: reproductive tract - female

Contributor(s): Annalisa Barrelet, John Dascanio, Chris Whitton, Madeleine L H Campbell

Introduction

  • An ultrasonic image is produced by the reflection of high-frequency sound waves at density interfaces between two tissues Ultrasonography: overview.
  • Fluid is an excellent medium for transmission of sound waves and fluid-filled structures appear black or anechoic on the ultrasonographic image.
  • Gas transmits little but produces severe attenuation of the sound beam.
  • Other tissues are seen as various shades of gray depending on their ability to reflect sound waves.
  • Ultrasonography is valuable in the evaluation of soft tissue pathology and the reproductive tract.
  • Trans-cutaneous and rectal routes can be used, depending on the area which is to be imaged.

Uses

Advantages

  • Non-invasive.
  • Portable.
  • Safe (providing care is taken in the rectum).
  • Inexpensive.
  • Minimally painful.

Disadvantages

  • Risk of iatrogenic rectal tears due to rectal examination when per rectum imaging is being undertaken.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • McKinnon A O, Squires E L & Shideler R K (1998) Diagnostic ultrasonography of the mare's reproductive tract. J Equine Vet Sci 8 (4), 329-333 VetMedResource.
  • Hinrichs K et al (1990) Ultrasound as an aid to diagnosis of granulosa cell tumor in the mare. Equine Vet J 22 (2), 99-103 PubMed.
  • Cross D T et al (1988) Uterine contractions in non-pregnant and early pregnant mares and jennies as determined by ultrasonography. J Anim Sci 66 (1), 250-254 PubMed.
  • McKinnon A O et al (1988) Ultrasonographic studies on the reproductive tract of mares after parturition - effect of involution and uterine fluid on pregnancy rates in mares with normal and delayed first post-partum ovulatory cycles. JAVMA 192 (3), 350-353 PubMed.
  • Traub-Dargatz J L et al (1988) Adjunctive methods of examination of the urogenital tract. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 4 (3), 339-358 PubMed.  
  • Ginther O J & Pierson R A (1984) Ultrasonic evaluation of the reproductive tract of the mare: ovaries. J Equine Vet Sci 4 (1), 11-16 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • McKinmnon A O, Squires E L, Vaala W E & Varner D D (2011) Diagnostic Ultrasonography. In: Equine Reproduction. pp 2003-2162. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.


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