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ULTRASONOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF THE CANINE SCIATIC NERVE

Authors

  • LIVIA BENIGNI,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
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  • SANDRA A. CORR,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
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  • CHRISTOPHER R. LAMB

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Livia Benigni, at the above address. E-mail: lbenigni@rvc.ac.uk

Abstract

To describe the ultrasonographic technique for investigation of the canine sciatic nerve, four canine cadaver pelvic limbs, two live healthy dogs, and five canine patients with suspected peripheral sciatic nerve lesions were examined with a high-resolution linear ultrasound transducer. The caudal part of the lumbosacral trunk and the origin of the sciatic nerve were visualized through the greater ischiatic foramen. The two components of the sciatic nerve, common peroneal and tibial nerves, were distinguished along the entire length of the nerve, until they branched at the level of the distal femur. In healthy live dogs they appeared as two adjacent hypoechoic tubular structures with internal echotexture of discontinuous hyperechoic bands, surrounded by a thin rim of highly echogenic tissue. The common peroneal component had a smaller diameter and was on the cranial aspect of the tibial component. An ultrasonographic lesion compatible with a peripheral nerve sheath tumor was found in one dog. Improved understanding of the ultrasonographic anatomy of the sciatic nerve supports clinical use of this modality.

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