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  • Presented at the 2005 European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Meeting, Naples, Italy, and at the 2005 British Medical Ultrasound Society Meeting, Manchester, UK.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jimmy H. Saunders, Medical Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, Merelbeke B-9820, Belgium. E-mail:


Lymph nodes are essential structures to be evaluated in an ultrasonographic examination of the feline abdomen. It was hypothesized that current technical proficiency would allow all feline abdominal lymph nodes to be identified ultrasonographically. Ten clinically normal, adult, domestic shorthair cats were examined using real-time compound ultrasonographic imaging. The medial iliac lymph nodes were visible in 100% of the cats, the jejunal lymph nodes in 90%, the hepatic lymph nodes in 70%, the aortic lumbar, the splenic, and the pancreaticoduodenal lymph nodes in 60% each, the ileocecal and the colic lymph nodes in 50% each, and the renal, the gastric, the sacral and the caudal mesenteric lymph nodes in 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% of the cats, respectively. The inconsistent presence of lymph nodes, their poor echocontrast and interposed gas of the gastrointestinal tract explain the lower percentages of identification. The ultrasonographic length and diameter of the lymph nodes were determined. The majority of these measurements corresponded to those in the literature. We conclude that ultrasonography is a valuable tool for the identification and evaluation of most abdominal lymph nodes in the normal cat. Average ultrasonographic measurements are presented as a preliminary guideline for normal feline abdominal lymph nodes.