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B-mode ultrasonographic evaluation of long bones in Falconiformes and Strigiformes birds

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Bone fractures in birds are usually diagnosed with the aid of traditional radiography. However, this technique remains limited because of the difficulties associating this examination with real-time procedures. The aim of this study was to describe the use of B-mode ultrasound to assess the long bones of two avian orders. For the study, we used carcases of birds from the orders Falconiformes (n = 9) and Strigiformes (n = 12), with weights ranging from 108 to 1020 g. An ultrasound device with a 5–12 MHz linear probe was employed to produce images of the long bones (humerus, radius, ulna, femur and tibiotarsus). Ultrasound (US) measurements and physical measurements using a caliper were applied to compare the diameter of the bones. Images were also recorded from the US examination performed in two live patients attending the hospital with suspected bone fractures. No statistical difference was found between the two methods of measurement in carcases weighing up to 267 g (P > 0.01). The US examination provided relevant clinical information about the bone cortex and assisted in real-time surgical procedures.


Long bones of Falconiformes and Strigiformes birds were assessed with B-mode ultrasound.

Ultrasound analysis is a relevant tool in clinical orthopaedics for avian species.

Ultrasound of the bone might be applied for monitoring of healing processes.
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Keywords: Raptor; hawks; musculoskeletal ultrasound; orthopaedic imaging; owls

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Veterinary Hospital – Wild life Sector, Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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