Abdominal vessels

image of Abdominal vessels
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The aorta, caudal vena cava and portal vein are the main abdominal blood vessels. This chapter looks at Normal abdominal vasculature; Plain radiography; Contrast radiography; Ultrasonography; Overview of additional imaging modalities; and Vascular diseases.

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Image of 6.1
6.1 Transverse T2-weighted MR image of the cranial abdomen of a 5-year-old neutered Dachshund bitch showing the location of the aorta (red arrow), caudal vena cava (blue arrow) and portal vein (yellow arrow). Right is to the left of the image. Vascular anatomy is quite constant: the caudal vena cava is located ventral and to the right of the aorta; the portal vein is located ventral and to the right of the caudal vena cava; the common bile duct is located ventral and to the right of the portal vein; the hepatic artery is located dorsal and to the left of the portal vein.
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6.2 Lateral abdominal radiograph of an overweight 12-year-old male entire Labrador Retriever. The aorta (red arrow), caudal vena cava (blue arrow) and the circumflex iliac vessels (yellow box) are easily identified against the background of retroperitoneal fat.
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6.3 Image obtained from a normal fluoroscopic IOMP study of a 9-month-old English Springer Spaniel in dorsal recumbency. Note the normal portal tree (PT) opacification. No histopathological abnormalities were found on evaluation of a liver tissue sample. PV = Portal vein.
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6.4 Longitudinal and transverse right-sided ultrasonograms of the normal caudal vena cava and aorta of an 8-year-old neutered Labrador Retriever bitch as seen in the caudal retroperitoneum. The transducer was positioned just ventral to the psoas musculature. The caudal vena cava is compressed owing to transducer pressure (yellow arrow in b). The head is to the left in (a). Dorsal is to the left in (b).
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6.5 Image obtained from a fluoroscopic IOMP study of a 6-month-old male Golden Retriever in dorsal recumbency. Multiple acquired PSSs can be seen as irregularly shaped linear opacities. No portal tree opacification was seen at this stage, compatible with the presence of portal hypertension and resistance to flow towards the liver. A liver biopsy confirmed primary hypoplasia of the portal vein (PV).
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6.6 Image obtained from a fluoroscopic IOMP study of a 15-month-old male neutered Bichon Frisé demonstrating the presence of a single extrahepatic portocaval PSS. Minimal opacification of the portal tree (PT) can be seen (compare with the normal portal tree in Figure 6.3 ). The patient was in dorsal recumbency; right is to the left. CVC = Caudal vena cava; PV = Portal vein.
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6.7 Lateral radiograph taken during an IOMP study demonstrating a single extrahepatic PSS in a 6-month-old Border Collie. The shunting vessel leaves the portal vein caudal to T13 (arrowed) to reach the caudal vena cava, indicating that it is an extrahepatic shunt. This was confirmed at surgery. (Reproduced from with permission from )
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6.8 VD radiograph taken during an IOMP study in a 7-month-old male neutered Domestic Shorthaired cat. = Portal vein; = PSS; = Immediate opacification of the caudal vena cava after injection of contrast medium, without intrahepatic portal vasculature opacification. (Reproduced from with permission from )
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6.9 Longitudinal (head is to the left) ultrasonogram of the cranial retroperitoneum of a 4-year-old male Border Terrier at the level of the right kidney, as seen in the near-field. The entrance point of a single extrahepatic PSS into the caudal vena cava can be clearly seen at this level. A right intercostal approach was used.
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6.10 Transverse (dorsal to the left) ultrasonograms of the right side of the liver obtained through a right intercostal approach, showing two of the three multiple congenital intrahepatic PSSs found in a 1-year-old Border Collie bitch. The yellow arrow seen in (a) indicates the direction of blood flow into the markedly dilated caudal vena cava. Image obtained from a fluoroscopic IOMP study with the dog in dorsal recumbency. The multiple shunting vessels (S) are clearly seen to the right of the midline. CVC = Caudal vena cava; PV = Portal vein.
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6.11 Non-selective CT angiogram of a 1-year-old male neutered Labrador Retriever showing the exact position (arrowed) where a previous ligation of an intrahepatic PSS had been performed several months earlier. The CT was being performed for the evaluation of a paracostal lesion.
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6.12 Longitudinal (head is to the left) greyscale and colour Doppler ultrasonograms of the retroperitoneum of a 5-month-old male Domestic Shorthaired cat at a level just caudal to the left kidney. Multiple vessels are demonstrated. These were confirmed as multiple acquired PSSs. A large AP fistula was responsible for the sustained portal hypertension in this case. The abnormal communication is demonstrated in as a very large intrahepatic vessel with an aliasing artefact on colour Doppler ultrasonography. Pulsating signals were detected using pulsed wave Doppler ultrasonography. These findings were confirmed at surgery, during which the affected liver lobe was removed.
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6.13 Left-sided longitudinal ultrasonograms of the distal third of the aorta (dorsal approach) of a 9-year-old neutered Greyhound bitch. Two different intraluminal non-shadowing hyperechoic lesions can be seen. The largest lesion, seen in , was slightly caudal to the mobile one seen in . A third lesion, not shown here, was seen to be occluding the right external iliac artery. The dog suffered acute onset right hindlimb monoparesis and pain 24 hours prior to the ultrasound examination. Thromboembolic disease secondary to protein-losing nephropathy was diagnosed.
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