Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Radiology: lower urinary and genital tracts

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Anna Meredith, David Perpinan

Introduction

  • Lower urinary tract includes ureters, bladder and urethra.
  • Ureters and urethra are not normally visible without contrast studies.
  • Ovaries and uterus are not visible unless they are enlarged or abnormal.
  • Radiography is of limited value to assess the male reproductive tract (testis, penis, seminal glands).
  • Contrast radiography is required for full evaluation of the lower urinary tract.

Radiographic considerations 

  • The lateral projection is most useful for evaluation of the bladder and urethra. 
  • A low KVp and high mAs should be used to maximize contrast of abdominal radiographs. 
  • A grid is necessary if the depth of tissue is >10 cm. 
  • Care should be taken to include the entire urinary tract for most investigations, as some urethral stones, particularly in males, may be located very caudally.
  • Use digital radiography if available.

Restraint 

  • Calm rabbits can be positioned with the use of sandbags.
  • If physical restraint is not possible, sedation with midazolam Midazolam is advised.
  • General anesthesia Anesthesia: general is rarely required to visualize lower urinary tract or genital tract.
Indications 
  • Hematuria.
  • Dysuria (painful urination). 
  • Urinary incontinence Urinary incontinence.
  • Urine scalding.
  • White and thick urine.
  • Crystaluria.
  • Polycythemia.
  • Weight loss Weight loss.
  • Anuria. 
  • Following trauma to investigate integrity of urinary tract. 
  • Investigation of abdominal masses.
  • Investigation of pulmonary masses (metastasis).
  • Check for pregnancy.

Ultrasonography often allows a more complete evaluation of the urinary and genital tracts with the exception of the urethra for which radiography (with or without contrast) is preferred.

Radiographic anatomy

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Interpretation

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Pitfalls

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2007) Radiographic signs of renal disease in rabbits. Vet Rec 160 (23), 787-794 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Capello V, Lennox A M & Widmer W R (2008) Clinical Radiology of Exotic Companion Mammals. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 528.


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