Comparative ultrasonographic study of the prostate complex and bulbourethral glands of the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)


Abstract: The aim of the present study was to provide a comparative description of the rabbit prostate complex and bulbourethral glands by means of ultrasonography, in order to obtain results that may be useful for the diagnosis of reproductive pathology in this species. The prostate and bulbourethral glands were studied sonographically in 12 sexually mature, clinically healthy male New Zealand rabbits that were 12 months old and weighed 2.8 to 3.2 kg. The prostate complex, composed of proprostate, prostate, and paraprostate parts, was observed using prepubic ultrasonography in sagittal and transversal planes and presented a hyperechoic stroma. The bulbourethral glands were examined by perineal ultrasonography in sagittal and transversal sections and were visualized as solid, heterogeneous structures with a relatively high echogenicity. In comparison with the prostate complex, the sonographic echogenicity of the bulbourethral glands was higher, more homogeneous, and better differentiated from the adjacent soft tissues.The information obtained by ultrasonography of these glands can be important in clinical practice for the assessment of the reproductive qualities and for the diagnosis of pathological conditions such as cystic degeneration, inflammations, and neoplastic processes in the male rabbit.

Keywords: Prostate, bulbourethral glands, ultrasonography, rabbit

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