Principles of the ultrasound examination | BSAVA Library

Principles of the ultrasound examination

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If possible, food should be withheld from animals for approximately 12 hours prior to the examination but access to water can be allowed. An empty stomach improves the imaging of the cranial abdomen, in particular the liver, the porta hepatis, the stomach itself, and the pancreas. It can sometimes be useful to allow the animal a drink of water before undertaking ultrasound examination of the cranial abdomen. The water can highlight the stomach wall, intraluminal foreign material or mural masses of the stomach. This chapter explains the preparation of the patient and scanning site, selection of the acoustic window and principles of image interpretation.

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Image of 3.1
3.1 Clipped field for a complete abdominal ultrasonographic examination. The dog is in right lateral recumbency with the head to the left and legs facing the ultrasonographer.
Image of 3.2
3.2 A U-shaped foam plastic trough or a cushion helps greatly with the positioning and restraint of the patient.
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3.4 Longitudinal ultrasonograms of the normal liver, spleen and right kidney in a dog. The liver is hypoechoic in comparison with the spleen. The structural fat (*) is hyperechoic in comparison with the liver. The medulla of the right kidney is hypoechoic compared with the renal cortex, which in turn is hyperechoic compared with the liver. The capsule of the liver and spleen are partially seen as thin hyperechoic lines (arrowed).
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