American Journal of Veterinary Research Feb 2012, Vol. 73, No. 2, Pages 220-226
Objective – To determine whether high-frequency diagnostic ultrasonography is useful for assessment of skin thickness in Shar-Peis.
Animals – 10 healthy Shar-Peis and 10 healthy Beagles used as controls.
Procedures – Ultrasonographic examination of the skin was performed on 4 cutaneous sites by use of a 13-MHz linear-array transducer, and the mean of 3 measurements was calculated. Ultrasonography results were compared with histologic findings of skin specimens stained with H&E, Alcian blue at a pH of 2.5, and Masson trichrome stains, with histometric measurements of skin thickness made by use of a microscope, and with measurements of skin thickness made by use of a plicometer. Ultrasonograpy results were also compared via age and sex of selected animals.
Results – A clear correlation was detected between ultrasonography results and results of histologic and histometric analysis in both groups. In Shar-Peis, no correlation was found between ultrasonography results and age and sex, whereas in Beagles, a weak positive correlation was found only between skin thickness in dorsal cervical and frontal (on the rostral margins of the supraorbital processes) regions and age. A positive overall correlation was found in Shar-Peis between measurements made via ultrasonography and plicometery.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance – Ultrasonography was a useful tool to assess skin thickness, and in Shar-Peis, it might be considered a valid alternative to invasive methods such as histologic examination to objectively estimate the severity of hereditary cutaneous hyaluronosis.