Diagnostic Imaging of the Abdomen

Presenter – Professor Mike Herrtage, professor of Small Animal Medicine and Dean of the Cambridge Veterinary School

Case reports or hands on practical sessions are the best way for me to benefit from any CPD covering diagnostic imaging. Practical experience is not really viable on a webinar but case reports are, and true to form, Professor Mike Herrtage from Cambridge University cited a number of cases in a veterinary webinar organised by ‘The Webinar Vet’ discussing diagnostic imaging of the abdomen.

The 9 month old JRT with a large abdominal mass, a 14 year old DSH with a distended abdomen and a 2 year old female boxer with unexplained haematuria were all cases featured in this veterinary webinar with x-rays, ultrasound and contrast radiography all being imaging techniques used and discussed.

The large abdominal mass in the JRT was shown to be in the right caudal quadrant of the abdomen by radiography and ultrasound helped to rule out the bladder, uterus and adrenal glands as being part of the offending mass. Abdominal x-rays showed the presence of only one kidney and this alerted suspicion that the mass may in fact be the right kidney. This was proven by performing an intravenous urogram (IVU) for which Professor Herrtage outlined the technique and discussed the difference between a bolus IVU and infusion IVU. The mass was confirmed to be the right kidney and was surgically resected and a diagnosis of hydronephrosis was made.

Intravenous urography was also key to diagnosing the boxer with haematuria. After ultrasound revealed a ‘worm-like’ soft tissue opacity within the bladder, an IVU was performed to reveal there was no filling of the renal pelvis or urine production within the left kidney. Cystoscopy was performed which showed blood entering the bladder from the left ureter and the ‘worm like’ opacity seen on the ultrasound was discovered to be a ureteric cast. A diagnosis of idiopathic renal haematuria was made and Professor Herrtage went on to discuss the treatment options for managing this unusual condition.

An ultrasound was performed on the 14 year old DSH with the swollen abdomen and revealed two shrunken fibrotic kidneys with pyelectasia surrounded by a large amount of fluid within the renal capsules. Fluid was aspirated and was found to be a modified transudate. From these findings a diagnosis of peri-renal pseudocysts was made.  Once again the various treatment options were discussed.

Professor Herrtage discussed further cases and elaborated on the three already mentioned in the blog. Not only were the various imaging techniques covered in greater detail, the management of these somewhat unusual conditions were also discussed further. For anyone wishing to brush up on their imaging and medical knowledge, this veterinary webinar will not disappoint and offers a really useful hour of CPD.

The Stethoscope (MRCVS)


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