Quantitative ultrasound elastography and biometry of the bitch uterus in the early puerperium after vaginal delivery and caesarean section
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Elastography is an actual imaging method used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the elastic properties of tissues. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare uterine tissue biometry and stiffness during post-partum period in brachycephalic bitches (n = 12) after c-section (GCS; n = 8) or normal delivery (GNB; n = 4). These animals were evaluated daily by abdominal ultrasound from the day of delivery until the 10th day post-partum; measuring uterine diameter, myometrial and endometrial thickness (mm) and shear wave velocity (SWV; m/s), by B-mode and ARFI (acoustic radiation force impulse) elastography, respectively. Uterine diameter was higher (p = .012) in animals submitted to c-section (15.26 ± 4.73 mm) than in normal birth (12.53 ± 2.64 mm) during the first 7 days post-partum. Uterine thickness gradually involuted in both groups (p < .0001), the myometrium during the first 9 days (p = .005) and the endometrium during the first 6 days (p = .003). The myometrial and endometrial SWVs were similar between types of delivery (p = .7846 and .8273) and presented a gradual increase (p = .411; .0043, respectively), during the first 10 days post-partum. It was concluded that bitches with normal delivery had smaller uterine thickness and faster puerperal involution than submitted to c-section, while uterine tissue stiffness was similar between delivery types and increased gradually during post-partum.
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