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Ultrasonographic visualisation of the mesenteric vasculature in horses with large colon colic
  1. Gabriel Manso-Díaz1,2,
  2. David M Bolt2 and
  3. Javier López-Sanromán1,3
  1. 1 Hospital Clínico Veterinario Complutense, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2 Equine Referral Hospital, Royal Veterinary College Clinical Services Division, Hatfield, UK
  3. 3 Departamento de Medicina y Cirugía Animal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gabriel Manso-Díaz; gmanso{at}


Background Ultrasonographic visualisation of the mesenteric vasculature of the large colon (LC) from the right side of the abdomen in cases of displacement and volvulus has been described. However, the LC can move freely within the abdomen and its mesentery can potentially contact both sides of the abdominal wall.

Methods Thirty-four horses presented with LC-related colic that had visible LC mesenteric vasculature visible on abdominal ultrasound were included. A control group was made including horses with confirmed small intestinal-related colic. The objective of this study was to evaluate the visibility of LC mesenteric vasculature with transabdominal ultrasonography in horses with LC-related colic and to determine its diagnostic value.

Results The LC mesenteric vasculature was identified on the right side of the abdomen in 16/34 horses with right dorsal displacement of the LC (RDDLC), 180° LC volvulus (LCV), 540° LCV or LC impaction. On the left side of the abdomen, LC mesenteric vessels were identified in 17/34 horses with left dorsal displacement of the LC (LDDLC), 180° LCV or RDDLC. Vessels were visualised on both sides in one horse with a 180° LCV. Presence of LC mesenteric vasculature in the dorsal aspect on the left side of the abdomen was significantly associated with LDDLC.

Conclusion LC mesenteric vasculature can be visualised on transabdominal ultrasound from either side of the abdomen in horses with different forms of LC-related colic.

  • equine
  • abdomen
  • colonic volvulus
  • colon displacement
  • diagnosis
  • Imaging
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This is a retrospective case series; no ethics approval is needed.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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