Article Text

Ultrasonographic appearance of the superficial supramammary lymph nodes in lactating dairy cattle
  1. K. J. Bradley, MA, VetMB,DVR, DipECVDI, PhD,MRCVS1,
  2. A. J. Bradley, MA, VetMB,DCHP, PhD, MRCVS1 and
  3. F. J. Barr, MA, VetMB, DVR,DipECVDI, PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DT


The superficial supramammary lymph nodes of 54 lactating dairy cows were examined ultrasonographically with a 7-5 MHz linear transducer; each node was measured in two planes within 24 hours of recording the milk somatic cell count. In most cows, the nodes were well demarcated from the surrounding tissue. The parenchyma of the nodes ranged from hypoechoic to anechoic, with a central bright hyperechoic area, and a thin hyperechoic line surrounded the nodes. The size of the nodes varied, but their internal architecture remained relatively consistent. Their mean length was 7.4 cm (range 3.5 to 15 cm) and their mean depth was 2.5 cm (range 1.2 to 5.7 cm). They were significantly larger in cows with more lactations (P<0.05), but there were no correlations between their size and either the time calved or the milk somatic cell count. The lymph nodes on sides which were positive in a California milk test were significantly larger than those on sides which were negative (P<0.05).

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