Computed tomographic anatomy of the canine pancreas

Probst A, Kneissl S.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2001;42:226-230.

Barium sulfate was administered into the coeliac artery of 5 canine cadavers to allow for contrast computed tomography of the pancreas. Contiguous, 2-mm-thick slices were acquired. Multiplanar and three-dimensional reformatting were performed to clarify the anatomic relationship. After imaging, the cadavers were frozen, cross sections obtained, and plastinated. These were compared to the computed tomography images. Five plain and contrast enhanced computed tomographic series of normal live controls were acquired and evaluated retrospectively. In the study of the canine cadavers the pancreas became opacified and appeared homogenous with irregular contour. In normal live controls, acquiring an image at the end of expiration allowed a detailed view of the pancreatic parenchyma in the non-alterated pancreas, but pancreatic and bile ducts could not be seen. Adjacent to the hepatic hilus the pancreatic body appeared as a dorsoventrally flattened structure bordering on the ventral surface of the portal vein, both in cadavers and normal live controls. The right lobe extended caudodorsally to the right abdominal wall and aligned with the cranial part of the duodenum. The left lobe was adjacent to the gastric body in all dogs although it was separated from the gastric fundus by the dorsal extremity of the spleen in normal live controls. Neither kidney was suitable as an anatomic marker for localization of the pancreas, unlike traditional references in textbooks. We recommended using the portal vein to localize the pancreatic body, the descending duodenum for the right lobe, and the dorsal extremity of the spleen as well as the gastric fundus for the left lobe.