Ultrasonographic anatomy and biometric analysis of the thoracic and abdominal organs in healthy foals from birth to age 6 months

Monica R Aleman, C. L. Gillis, Jorge Nieto, C. D. Renaudin, J. Bea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Knowledge of normal renal parameters, as documented in mature horses, is essential for the accurate evaluation of abnormal kidneys. Although the ultrasonographic appearance and location of the abdominal organs in foals and the renal dimensions in neonates have been reported, there is currently no information available for the assessment of normal organ growth in foals. The objectives of the study were to describe the ultrasonographic characteristics, location and variations of the thoracic and abdominal organs with relation to age, height and weight; and provide a growth table for comparison with diseased foals. The thoracic and abdominal cavities of 10 healthy foals were evaluated at ages 1, 7, 14 and 21 days and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 months. The equipment used was an Ausonics Opus Plus ultrasound. For every evaluation, weight and height were obtained, the foals were sedated and the area of study was clipped and cleaned. The ultrasonographic location, appearance and measurements of the different organs were recorded for each examination. The study revealed that foals age >1 month resemble the mature ultrasonographic pattern. Continual growth of the organs was observed from Day 1 to age 6 months, being faster in the first month. Organ growth was closely correlated with age, but not with sex, height or weight in healthy foals up to age 6 months. Our study has provided measurements of longitudinal organ growth in healthy foals, presented in a simple form for easy comparison with diseased individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-655
Number of pages7
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Biometrics
  • Foals
  • Growth
  • Horse
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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