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Computed tomography of the thorax in rabbits: a prospective study in ten clinically healthy New Zealand White rabbits


Müllhaupt, Désirée; Wenger, Sandra; Kircher, Patrick R; Pfammatter, Nadja; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Ohlerth, Stefanie (2017). Computed tomography of the thorax in rabbits: a prospective study in ten clinically healthy New Zealand White rabbits. Acta veterinaria Scandinavica, 59:72.

Abstract

Background: Literature investigating the normal cross-sectional anatomy of rabbits with computed tomography (CT) is sparse and incomplete. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the normal thoracic structures, in particular the cranial thorax, with CT angiography in 10 clinically healthy New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits.
Results: Absolute and relative measurements of the trachea, heart, thoracic caudal vena cava and aorta, right and left principal bronchi, right and left caudal lobar bronchi and the accompanying branches of the right and left pulmonary artery and vein, right and left lung volume and lung density were taken. The three lobes of the thymus (right ventral, right dorsal and left thoracic lobes) were identified in all rabbits. Both the right dorsal and left thoracic lobes of the thymus extended between the heart and thoracic wall in all individuals with the left lobe reaching more caudally in seven animals. Consequently, the craniocaudal extension of the left lung was smaller than the right lung in these rabbits. Volume of the left lung was significantly smaller than the right (P = 0.005). The cranial mediastinal, right and left tracheobronchial and the aortic thoracic lymph nodes were very small and identified in four, four, seven and ten rabbits, respectively. The heart took up a median of 4.0 intercostal spaces, and in seven rabbits, it was located in the 2nd–5th intercostal space. Median relative cardiac height and width measured 74 and 88%, respectively. The median angle of the trachea to the spine was 5°. Median density between the right and left lung did not significantly differ (− 549 and − 583 Hounsfield units, respectively). In all but one rabbit, atelectasis was present and classified as mild, moderate or severe in six, two and one individuals, respectively. Mild subclinical bronchopneumonia was diagnosed in seven rabbits.
Conclusions: The present study provides species-specific anatomical CT information and reference values for structures in the thorax of the NZW rabbit. Subclinical bronchopneumonia appears to be a common CT finding.

Abstract

Background: Literature investigating the normal cross-sectional anatomy of rabbits with computed tomography (CT) is sparse and incomplete. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the normal thoracic structures, in particular the cranial thorax, with CT angiography in 10 clinically healthy New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits.
Results: Absolute and relative measurements of the trachea, heart, thoracic caudal vena cava and aorta, right and left principal bronchi, right and left caudal lobar bronchi and the accompanying branches of the right and left pulmonary artery and vein, right and left lung volume and lung density were taken. The three lobes of the thymus (right ventral, right dorsal and left thoracic lobes) were identified in all rabbits. Both the right dorsal and left thoracic lobes of the thymus extended between the heart and thoracic wall in all individuals with the left lobe reaching more caudally in seven animals. Consequently, the craniocaudal extension of the left lung was smaller than the right lung in these rabbits. Volume of the left lung was significantly smaller than the right (P = 0.005). The cranial mediastinal, right and left tracheobronchial and the aortic thoracic lymph nodes were very small and identified in four, four, seven and ten rabbits, respectively. The heart took up a median of 4.0 intercostal spaces, and in seven rabbits, it was located in the 2nd–5th intercostal space. Median relative cardiac height and width measured 74 and 88%, respectively. The median angle of the trachea to the spine was 5°. Median density between the right and left lung did not significantly differ (− 549 and − 583 Hounsfield units, respectively). In all but one rabbit, atelectasis was present and classified as mild, moderate or severe in six, two and one individuals, respectively. Mild subclinical bronchopneumonia was diagnosed in seven rabbits.
Conclusions: The present study provides species-specific anatomical CT information and reference values for structures in the thorax of the NZW rabbit. Subclinical bronchopneumonia appears to be a common CT finding.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computed tomography, Rabbit, Thorax, Thymus
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Nov 2017 16:35
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:05
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:0044-605X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13028-017-0340-x
PubMed ID:29065887

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