Validation of whole-body radiographs for examining uterine disorders in sexually intact female rabbits
OBJECTIVE:The present study evaluated whole-body radiographs of female rabbits regarding uterine disorders. MATERIAL AND METHODS:Based on radiographs of 143 rabbits, visibility, size, shape and density of the uterus, nutritional status of the animal and possible metastasis in other organs were examined. A suspected diagnosis was deduced. The radiological findings were compared with the results of the histopathological examination. RESULTS:Especially the nutritional status was important regarding the visibility of the genital tract. In 99 of the 130 visible uteri (76.2 %), a pathological alteration was detected. Thereof, endometrial hyperplasia was most frequently seen (63.6 %), followed by neoplasia (altogether 42.4 %, 39.4 % of these with adenocarcinoma), endometritis (35.4 %) and other diseases (18.2 %). Forty-six rabbits showed only one disease, 42 rabbits had two, 10 rabbits three and one rabbit four different diseases. Among 13 of the 143 uteri that were not visible in the radiograph four were altered pathologically. In 31 of the 130 rabbits with a visible uterine region (21.7 %) the uterus was unaltered. Visualising the uterus proved impossible in two of four skinny rabbits (2.8 %), whereas in all 39 obese rabbits the uterus was visible. Only in one of the four skinny rabbits was the uterus without pathological findings and six of the 39 obese rabbits showed no pathological alteration, visibility notwithstanding. Calcification indicated a tumourous occurrence in 23 of 53 cases. Except for one rabbit, the mineralised neoplasia was an adenocarcinoma (n = 22). Five animals with calcification in the uterine region showed no abnormalities. Of these, the calcification of four animals was no longer existent in the radiograph after ovariohysterectomy. Neoplastic changes in the uterus did not always show calcification. In 20 of the 44 patients with uterine neoplasia no calcification was seen. Changes in uterine size occurred in 118 of the 143 rabbits (82.5 %) and alteration of the uterine shape in 109 of the 143 rabbits (67.1 %). CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:Thus, the above presented parameters - especially size, shape and mineralisation - are very important regarding uterine diseases.
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