Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Ultrasonography: adrenal gland

Contributor(s): Fraser McConnell

Introduction

Uses

Advantages

  • Low cost.
  • Non-invasive.
  • Straightforward.
  • Short time requirement if experienced.
  • Rarely requires sedation.
  • No known biological risk.
  • Allows ultrasound guided:
  • Allows evaluation of other organs for related problems, eg invasion of caudal vena cava or hepatic metastases by adrenal carcinomas.
    Time requirement will reduce with operator experience.

Disadvantages

  • May require patient's coat to be clipped.
  • Normal sonographic appearance does not exclude disease.
  • Gives no information on endocrine function.
  • Abnormal sonographic appearance does not always indicate significant disease.
  • Similar sonographic appearance with different diseases.

Potential problems

  • Poor transducer-skin contact:
    • Inadequate clipping.
    • Insufficient coupling medium.
  • Inadequate patient restraint.
  • Operator inexperience.
  • Excess intestinal gas.
  • Inadequate equipment.

Alternatives

  • Plain or contrast radiography Radiography: abdomen for differentiating renal from adrenal masses.
  • MRI or CT for differentiating pituitary dependant from adrenal dependant hyperadrenocorticism.

Equipment

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Patient preparation

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Technique

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Normal anatomy

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Abnormalities

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Gould S M, Baines E A, Mannion P A, Evans H & Herrtage M E (2001) Use of endogenous ACTH concentration and adrenal ultrasonography to distinguish the cause of canine hyperadrenocorticism. JSAP 42, 113-121 PubMed.
  • Douglass J P, Berry C R & James S (1997) Ultrasonographic adrenal gland measurement in dogs without evidence of adrenal disease. Vet Radiol 38(2), 124-130 PubMed.
  • Besso J G, Penninck D G & Gliatto J M (1997) Retrospective ultrasonographic evaluation of adrenal lesions in 26 dogs. Vet Radiol 38(6), 448-455 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Tidwell A S, Penninck D G & Besso J G (1997) Imaging of adrenal gland disorders. Vet Clin North Am 27(2), 237-254 PubMed.


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