Renal Ultrasound Features and Echo Histograms in Captive Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris)

Jezie A. Acorda, Mark Cyrus A. Mergilla


Seven apparently healthy captive Bengal tigers, five females and two males, 5-72 mos old, were used in this study. Ultrasonographic examination of the kidneys was performed in sedated tigers in a lateral recumbent position using an ultrasound machine equipped with a 3.5 MHz convex array transducer. Histogram analysis of the ultrasonograms was conducted and echo mean values were obtained. The kidneys were visualized on both the left and right flanks, the right kidney between the 1st to 4th lumbar vertebrae and the left kidney between the 2nd to 5th lumbar vertebrae. Both left and right kidneys appeared as smooth, bean-shaped and elongated structures in sagittal section and slightly rounded in transverse scan. The centrally located renal sinus was observed to be hyperechoic. The renal medulla was seen as a hypoechoic to anechoic structure. The renal cortex appeared hypoechoic while the renal capsule was either hyperechoic or less distinct and appeared to blend with the surrounding structures. Measurements of length, width and height of kidneys were made and renal volume was calculated. Histogram analysis showed that the renal sinus had the highest echo mean values, followed by the renal cortex and lastly by the renal medulla. The results of the study could be used as reference for detecting diseases and disorders in the kidneys of tigers through diagnostic ultrasound.

Key words: Bengal tiger, echo histogram, kidney, ultrasound

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