Ultrasound can be used to detect and evaluate both normal and abnormal lymph nodes, as well as aid in biopsy sampling procedures, an important part of staging procedures in cancer patients. Several parameters can be evaluated using ultrasound; lymph node size, margins, echogenicity, echopattern (echotexture), acoustic transmission, presence and distribution of vascular flow, and vascular flow indices. The most diagnostically helpful include the short/long axis ratio of the lymph node, the pattern of distribution of the blood vessels within the lymph node, and to some extent the resistive and pulsatility indices. This review discusses the use of ultrasound for detecting, evaluating, and sampling peripheral, abdominal and thoracic lymph nodes in small animals.
- lymph node
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