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Title: The use of ultrasound measurements for monitoring subcutaneous fat and muscle depths of Churra
Authors: Silva, Severiano
Guedes, Cristina
Santos, Virgínia
Lourenço, A.
Mena, Elizabete
Azevedo, Jorge Manuel Teixeira de
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Throughout the Northeast of Portugal most sheep are raised under extensive production systems with seasonality of feed resource availability. Depending on the severity and length of the scarcity, the ewes use their body reserves, which results in significant variations of body weight (BW) and body condition. Objective techniques, such as real time ultrasonography (RTU), are able to monitor body reserves during food shortage periods. Our aim was to monitor subcutaneous fat (SF) and Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle (LM) depletion using RTU. Eighteen non-lactating and non-pregnant Churra da Terra Quente ewes were fed restricted diets to lose BW (49±5 to 37±1kg) during 42 weeks and were scanned biweekly using an AlokaSSD500V with a 7.5 MHz probe. The probe was placed over the 13th thoracic (13T) and between the 3rd and the 4th (34L) vertebrae. At these sites SF depth (SFD) and LM depth (LMD) were measured by image analysis using ImageJ software on digitised ultrasound images. Relationships between BW and RTU measurements and the relative growth of SFD and LMD were analysed by regression. The SFD growth relative to BW was obtained after log transformation of Huxley allometric equation. Both SFD and LMD were depleted (SFD: 7 to 3mm; LMD: 22 to 14mm). The decrease of 1mm on SFD and LMD represented 2.4 and 1.4kg of BW loss, respectively. The relative growth of SFD (SFD13T: b=1.73; SFD34L: b=1.62, both b>1, P<0.01) confirmed that subcutaneous fat varies highly with body condition. Results suggest that RTU can be used to monitor SFD and LMD depletion. It can also be concluded that RTU is useful to evaluate the relative growth of subcutaneous fat in different body regions.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Document Type: Conference Object
Appears in Collections:OLD - DZOO - Poster em Conferência Internacional

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