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J Zoo Wildl Med. 2012 Dec;43(4):787-92.

Presumed normal ultrasonographic findings of the testis and epididymis of botos (Inia geoffrensis).

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Federal University of Piauí, Campus Cinobelina Elvas, Bom Jesus, Piauí, 64900-000, Brazil.


Fifteen live adult male botos, or Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis), were examined using ultrasonography during the yearly capture expedition, between October and November 2005, at the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, within the Brazilian Amazon (3 degrees S, 65 degrees W). All examinations were performed with a Sonosite 180 plus ultrasound unit in conjunction with a 2- to 5-MHz multifrequency transducer convex array 180 Plus/Elite-C60. Age and maturity estimates were determined considering the body length, weight, and external characteristics. In all examinations, the testes were discerned by the presence of a hyperechoic central line, called the mediastinum testis, a landmark for their identification during ultrasonography. No significant differences in echogenicity were detected on the ultrasonographic appearance of the testes among the studied animals. On adult male botos, apparent parenchymal nodulation of the testis was observed on scanning in most of the animals and probably constituted evidence of reproductive maturity. Using the color Doppler technique, blood flow was detected along the mediastinum testis that progressively decreased toward the periphery of this organ. Little blood flow could be identified by color Doppler. Power Doppler allowed better accuracy to identify testicular vessels, their topography, and their differentiation from adjacent structures. Ultrasonographic examination provides useful data for morphologic characterization of the boto's testes. Examination using Doppler techniques was considered a valuable tool to evidence blood flow through the testicular parenchyma.

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