Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Ultrasonographic measurement of adrenal gland-to-aorta ratio as a method of estimating adrenal size in dogs
  1. Amalia Agut1,2,
  2. Miryam Martinez2,3,
  3. Agustina Anson2,4 and
  4. Marta Soler1,2
  1. 1 Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  2. 2 Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  3. 3 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Southfields Veterinary Specialists, Basildon, UK
  4. 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amalia Agut; amalia{at}


Background Adrenal size has been used as the principal criterion for differentiating a normal gland from adrenal hyperplasia. The objectives of this study were to establish an ultrasonographic measurement of adrenal gland-to-aorta (adrenal/Ao) ratio to estimate the adrenal size and to assess the effects of bodyweight, age and sex on the adrenal/Ao ratio in non-adrenal gland disease dogs.

Methods Two hundred and thirty-four dogs (120 entire females and 114 entire males) considered non-adrenal gland disease were included in this study. Dogs were allocated into three bodyweight categories (<10 kg, 10–20 kg and >20 kg), and four age groups (<1 year, 1–5 years, 5–10 years and >10 years old). Measurements of the maximal thickness of caudal pole of both adrenal glands and the aortic luminal diameter in sagittal plane were performed on the ultrasonographic images. Three different ratios were calculated for each dog.

Results Sex and age did not influence on the adrenal/Ao ratio. There were differences (P<0.05) between the three dog sizes for adrenal/Ao ratio, being the highest value for small size and the lowest value for large size.

Conclusions In this study, only bodyweight influences the ultrasound measurement of the adrenal/Ao ratio in non-adrenal gland disease dogs.

  • adrenal gland
  • aortic diameter
  • size
  • dog
  • ultrasound
  • body weight
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Presented at Parts of this study were presented as oral presentation at the 17 th IVRA meeting, Perth, Australia, August 16–21, 2015.

  • 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 study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the University of Murcia (434/18).

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

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

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.