An Ultrasonographic Study of Post-Partum Involution of the Bovine Uterus

Situmbeko, Ilyamupu (1997) An Ultrasonographic Study of Post-Partum Involution of the Bovine Uterus. MVM(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The reproductive performance of the postpartum cow has a great influence on the overall reproductive success of the herd and therefore on the production and profits of the entire dairy enterprise. Extended calving intervals and premature culling due to infertility are a source of financial loss for dairy producers world-wide. Following calving, successful re-breeding depends on the resumption of ovarian cyclicity and completion of uterine involution. While follicular activity has been well characterised, there are few detailed studies of uterine involution using ultrasonography. This study was carried out with the objective of monitoring normal uterine involution and identifying features indicative of uterine pathology using real time B-mode ultrasound scanning. In preliminary experiments uteri recovered from abattoirs were examined and measured and scan planes were selected for serial monitoring of postpartum cows. Twenty seven cows were then examined five times (Examinations 1-5) during the periods of 2-9, 12-17, 23-29, 43-49 and 54-61 days postpartum. For 21 of the cows certain features were identified ultrasonographically. Volumes of uterine fluids with variable echogenicity were observed during examinations 1 and 2. The fluid was anaechoic during the early part of Examination 1, becoming echogenic in the later part of Examination 1 and remaining so until Examination 3. By Examination 3 no fluid was seen except that associated with oestrus. Caruncles were visualised as oval echogenic structures during Examination 1 and the diameter of the uterine horns was greater than 60 mm. The size of the previously gravid horn reduced markedly during the first four examinations. Mean diameter was 45.1 mm during Examination 2 and 29.7 mm by Examination 5. After Examination 3 further changes were reduction in the size of the horns and the observation of features associated with the oestrous cycle. Regression of the cervix was slower than that of the horns. The cervical lumen was visualised during Examination 1 and not thereafter. The cervix remained greater than 60 mm in diameter until Examination 3 when a mean diameter was 52.0 mm was recorded. By Examination 5 the structure was 44.7 mm in diameter. Six cows were classified as abnormal because of periparturient problems or endometritis. These cows showed delayed involution, characterised by the persistence of a visible cervical lumen beyond 12 days postpartum, caruncles visible after 17 days postpartum, a uterine horn diameter of greater than 60 mm or the presence of echogenic fluid after 23 days postpartum and a cervix of greater than 60 mm in diameter beyond 54 days postpartum. In conclusion this study showed that it was possible to characterise the process of involution ultrasonographically, and to recognise certain features which were indicative of delayed involution or uterine pathology.

Item Type: Thesis (MVM(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: J S Boyd
Keywords: Veterinary science, Animal sciences, Medical imaging
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-74595
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 17:37
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 17:37

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