Testicular morphometric and echotextural parameters and their correlation with intratesticular blood flow in Ossimi ram lambs
The present detailed study aimed to record for the first time the testicular dimensions (length, width, thickness and volume), testicular echotexture (pixel intensity, pixel standard deviation and colored area pixels) using gray-scale/Doppler ultrasonography and investigating the blood flow indices (resistive and pulsatility index) for testicular artery from one hand, and to explore the possible associations between these parameters in Ossimi ram lambs under subtropical conditions from the other hand. 8 ram lambs (aging 4-5 months and weighing 30-40 kg) were submitted to B-mode testicular ultrasonography (US) for evaluation of testicular length, width, thickness and volume. Testicular artery was submitted to pulsed-wave Doppler examination to measure the resistive index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI). Computer-assisted image analysis was applied for B-mode/color Doppler images. Regarding the testicular dimensions, testicular length, width, thickness and volume were (63.90±10.42 mm, 34.50±3.70mm, 36.50±2.52mm and 58.80±9.98 mm3, respectively). Blood flow indices (RI and PI) experienced a significant strong association between each other (r= 0.878, P ≤0.01). Regarding testicular image analysis, testicular parenchyma recorded higher values of testicular echogenicity (82.5 ±12.47), which was directly associated with other testicular morphometric characteristics (P ≤0.01). As we can conclude, testicular US is of great potential usefulness to assess the testicular dimension and reproductive growth in ram lambs. RI and PI were directly affected with sexual stage and could be a reflection of the attainment of puberty and testicular function in rams under subtropical conditions.