Use of Ultrasound In Horses for Diagnosis of Left Dorsal Displacement of the Large Colon and Monitoring its Nonsurgical Correction


  • Presented at the Fourth Equine Colic Research Symposium, Athens, Georgia, September 25,1991


During a 28 month period, 82 horses with clinical signs of abdominal pain were examined for left dorsal displacement of the large colon (LDDLC) using percutaneous ultrasound. Left dorsal displacement of the large colon was diagnosed when a gas echo dorsal to the spleen obliterated the dorsal splenic border, or when the colon was observed lateral to the spleen. In 42 horses, ultrasound confirmed a diagnosis of LDDLC and 40 horses had no evidence of LDDLC. There were five false negative results and no false positives. In four horses with LDDLC, the colon was displaced between the spleen and body wall; three of these colic episodes resolved with medical therapy and the fourth required a celiotomy to relieve a sand impaction. The remaining 38 horses had a renosplenic entrapment; surgical correction was elected in 4 horses, 21 horses were corrected by a nonsurgical rolling procedure, 12 were corrected at surgery after an unsuccessful rolling attempt, and one was corrected by rolling but required surgery later because of an additional lesion. Percutaneous abdominal ultrasound was a valuable aid in the diagnosis of LDDLC and in confirming correction of the displacement after a nonsurgical rolling procedure.