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Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the effects of angling-induced barotrauma on rockfish (Sebastes)

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The physical consequences of barotrauma on the economically important rockfish (Sebastes) were evaluated with a novel method using T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in combination with image segmentation and analysis. For this pilot study, two fishes were captured on hook-and-line from 100m, euthanized, and scanned in a 3Tesla human MRI scanner. Analyses were made on each fish, one exhibiting swim bladder overinflation and exophthalmia and the other showing low to moderate swim bladder overinflation. Air space volumes in the body were quantified using image segmentation techniques that allow definition of individual anatomical regions in the three-dimensional MRIs. The individual exhibiting the most severe signs of barotrauma revealed the first observation of a gas-filled orbital space behind the eyes, which was not observable by gross dissection. Severe exophthalmia resulted in extreme stretching of the optic nerves, which was clearly validated with dissections and not seen in the other individual. Expanding gas from swim bladder overinflation must leak from the swim bladder, rupture the peritoneum, and enter the cranium. This MRI method of evaluating rockfish following rapid decompression is useful for quantifying the magnitude of internal barotrauma associated with decompression and complementing studies on the effects of capture and discard mortality of rockfishes.

Nous avons évalué les conséquences physiques des barotraumatismes sur les sébastes du genre Sebastes, des poissons d’importance économique, à l’aide d’une méthode inédite utilisant l’imagerie par résonance magnétique (MRI) pondérée en T2 en combinaison avec la segmentation et l’analyse des images. Dans cette étude pilote, nous avons capturé deux poissons à la ligne à une profondeur de 100 m et les avons euthanasiés et analysés dans un scanner à 3teslas pour humains. Les analyses faites chez les deux poissons montrent, chez l’un, une inflation excessive de la vessie natatoire et une exophtalmie et, chez l’autre, une inflation excessive faible à modérée de la vessie natatoire. Nous avons mesuré les volumes des espaces aériens dans le corps par des techniques de segmentation des images qui permettent une définition des diverses régions anatomiques en MRI 3D. L’individu qui présente les symptômes les plus importants de barotraumatisme possède un espace orbital rempli de gaz derrière les yeux qui n’est pas visible à la dissection grossière. L’exophtalmie sévère cause un étirement extrême des nerfs optiques qui se vérifie clairement à la dissection et qui n’est pas visible chez l’autre individu. Le gaz en expansion provenant de l’inflation excessive de la vessie natatoire doit s’échapper de la vessie, fendre le péritoine et s’infiltrer dans le crâne. Notre méthode d’évaluation des sébastes par MRI après une décompression rapide est utile pour mesurer l’importance du barotraumatisme interne associé à la décompression et elle sert de complément aux études des effets de la capture et de la mortalité reliée à la remise à l’eau chez les sébastes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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