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Noninvasive imaging of the gastrointestinal tract of snakes: A comparison of normal anatomy, radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography



Noninvasive imaging of the gastrointestinal tract of snakes: A comparison of normal anatomy, radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography



Zoology (Jena) 101(3): 210-223



The aim of the study is to determine an imaging modality which is most suitable for the noninvasive study of rapid, repeated, and reversible changes of organ size in snakes. We compare images of three noninvasive imaging techniques (i.e., radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography) with conventional cross anatomical dissections for their imaging quality and reliability of morphometric data acquisition. Radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography apply different physical principles for imaging, resulting in images with differing information content. The image acquisition time of any noninvasive imaging modality is a crucial point for imaging because mobility of animals may limit the image quality and applicability of techniques. Most animals cannot be trained to sit quietly in the imaging device and immobilization is necessary when long image acquisition times are required. However, immobilization may infer some degree of invasiveness into the study. -We found that ultrasonic imaging may be successfully employed to image rapid, reversible, and repeated changes of organ size snakes, especially if costs, technical training to run the machine, and accessibility of imaging devices was taken into account. Also, ultrasonography can be performed without pretreatment of the animals. A combination of several nonivasive imaging techniques will, however, provide most information as techniques mutually complement each other.

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Accession: 011066781

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