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Keywords:

  • dog;
  • elastography;
  • kidney;
  • liver;
  • spleen

Elastography is a simple, expedient and noninvasive technique that may be used to assess the elasticity or stiffness of a tissue, in conjunction with traditional B-mode ultrasonography. Quantitative assessment of tissue stiffness can be made which involves measurement of the shear wave velocity within the tissue of interest. The goal of this study was to assess the feasibility of elastography for clinical use in the abdomen of conscious small animals and to investigate factors that affect shear wave velocity measurement. Elastography was performed on the liver, spleen, and kidneys of 15 dogs at predefined depths within the parenchyma. Breed, age, gender, neuter status, and weight were documented for each animal. Depth at which measurements were taken had a significant negative relationship with the shear wave velocity value obtained. Individual dog effects, such as weight and gender, also appeared to have a significant effect on the shear wave velocity measurement for specific organs; weight had a significant positive effect on the shear wave velocity for each of the organs examined, whereas the effect of gender was inconsistent between organs (having a positive effect for the liver and a negative effect for the spleen). It is hoped that these results may act as a baseline to guide further work into the field of elastography in companion animals.