Article Text

Ultrasonographic imaging of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)
  1. A. L. Valente, DVM, MSc1,
  2. M. L. Parga, DVM, MSc3,
  3. Y. Espada, DVM, PhD2,
  4. S. Lavin, DVM, PhD1,
  5. F. Alegre, DVM3,
  6. I. Marco, DVM, PhD1 and
  7. R. Cuenca, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge
  2. 2 Department de Medicina i Cirurgia Animal, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193-Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3 Centre de Recuperació d'Animals Marins, Camí Ral, 239-08330 Premià de Mar, Barcelona, Spain


Twenty live and five dead juvenile and subadult loggerhead sea turtles were examined ultrasonographically. Ten soft tissue areas of the integument were used as acoustic windows: cervical-dorsal and cervical-ventral, left and right cervicobrachial, left and right axillary, left and right prefemoral and left and right postfemoral windows. Anatomical cross-sections were performed on the dead turtles to provide reference data. The fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, the spinal cord, and the venous sinuses of the external jugular vein were clearly visible through the cervical-dorsal acoustic window, and the oesophagus and the heart were imaged through the cervical-ventral acoustic window. The stomach was more frequently visible through the left axillary acoustic window. The liver could be imaged through both sides, but the right axillary acoustic window was better for visualising the gall bladder. The large and small intestines and the kidneys were visible through the right and left prefemoral acoustic windows; the kidneys were easily identified by their intense vasculature.

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