Bidimensional and Doppler ultrasonographic evaluation of postpartum uterine involution in the queen
Blanco, P.G.; Rodríguez, R.; Batista, P.R.; Barrena, J.P.; Arias, D.O.; Gobello, C.
Theriogenology 84(1): 82-85
The aim of this study was to describe bidimensional and Doppler ultrasonographic changes of uterine involution during normal feline puerperium. Secondary, the postpartum vaginal discharge was described. Twelve pregnant female cats were included in this study. After queening, vulvar discharge was grossly and microscopically examined daily. Bidimensional and Doppler ultrasonographic examinations of the uterus were performed on Days -4 to -2, 4, 11, 18, and 25 from parturition. Total uterine diameter, uterine wall thickness, uterine lumen contents, peak systolic velocity, end diastolic velocity, and resistance index of uterine arteries were measured. The cats presented serosanguineous vulvar discharge for a mean of 3 ± 1 days after parturition, and the cytology revealed 70% to 80% of erythrocytes, which progressively decreased up to Day 13. Immediately after parturition, there were less than 20% neutrophils, and this percentage gradually diminished to 0% to 1% at the end of the study. Uterine total diameter diminished up to Day 25 (P < 0.01), when ultrasonographic uterine dimensions were similar to that of anestrus. A progressive decrease of uterine wall thickness (P < 0.05), uterine lumen contents (P < 0.01), peak systolic velocity (P < 0.01), and end diastolic velocity (P < 0.01) was found throughout the study period. Conversely, resistance index increased during the first week after parturition (P < 0.01). It is concluded that the uterine artery blood flow progressively decreased during the first 25 days after parturition, which was associated with the bidimensional ultrasonographic regression of the organ. Although lochial discharge disappeared far before ultrasonographic involution, cytologic findings further corroborated the duration of this regression process.