When the isolated teat of a cow was examined with an 8.5 MHz linear array transducer in a vertical plane, the teat canal appeared as a thin, white line, bordered on each side by parallel, thick, grey-black bands. In a horizontal plane a comparable image was obtained. In a sheep, images of comparable quality were obtained with a 12 MHz transducer. Histological studies of the tissues whose removal led to the disappearance of this characteristic ultrasonographic appearance showed that it was associated with the stratified keratinised squamous epithelium with distinct papillae. The content of keratin in the stratum corneum was apparently responsible for the bright zone; the stratum lucidum was not visible, and the surrounding dark, less echoic area was associated with the stratum granulosum. Doppler echography in live animals confirmed this designation. The outer layers of the teat wall were more echogenic.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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