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Abstract

The issue of maximizing penetration depth with concurrent retaining or enhancement of image resolution constitutes one of the time invariant challenges in ultrasound imaging. Concerns about potential and undesirable side effects set limits on the possibility of overcoming the frequency dependent attenuation effects by increasing peak acoustic amplitudes of the waves probing the tissue. To overcome this limitation a pulse compression technique employing 16 bits Complementary Golay Sequences (CGS) Code was implemented at 4 MHz. In comparison with other, earlier proposed, coded excitation schemes, such as chirp, pseudo-random chirp and Barker codes, the CGS allowed virtually side lobe free operation. Experimental data indicate that the quality — resolution, signal penetration and contrast dynamics — of CGS images is better than the one obtain for standard ultrasonography using short burst excitation.
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Abstract

Early castration of male small ruminants is regarded as a risk factor for urolithiasis, although the underlying correlations are still unclear. One possible reason is a deferred development of the penis and the urethra after castration. Therefore, we examined the penis and urethra of castrated and intact lambs by ultrasonography to determine the correlation between urethral area and pe- nile cross-sectional area. Ultrasonography was performed in 6-month-old Lacaune crossbred lambs (early castrated, late castrated, and intact; each group, n = 11). Sectional images at 5 loca- tions (glans penis, penile urethra, distal and proximal sigmoid flexure, and ischial arch) were ob- tained to determine the urethral and penile diameters. Urethral and penile cross-sectional areas were calculated. Grey-scale analysis of ultrasound images was performed to evaluate possible differences in the penile texture between the groups. Correlation analyses between both cross-sectional areas showed a significant general correlation for location 2 in all lambs (R = 0.52; P = 0.003), for location 3 in late-castrated lambs, and for location 5 in early-castrated lambs. Statistically significant correlations between the penile and the urethral area of castrated and intact lambs were not evident. Therefore, measurement of the penile cross-sectional area alone does not allow for accurate estimation of urethral size. Statistically significant differences con- cerning the grey-scale analysis between the groups were also not detectable. Thus, simplification of the formerly presented ultrasonographic examination of the urethra is not recommended. In animals at a risk of obstructive urolithiasis, complete urethral examina- tion is essential.
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