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Series 1: No Adrenal Gland Left Behind

Knowing the anatomy is important in becoming familiar with the SDEP approaches to imaging the adrenal glands.

Getting started: Check out this impressive canine adrenal gland illustration created by Tim Vojt from The Ohio State University. This diagram clearly identifies the organs and structures you will be seeing while trying to image the adrenal glands.

Image credit: Tim Vojt, The Ohio State University Image copyright


If you follow the SDEP approach to imaging the adrenals you will find them every time.

Approaching the left adrenal gland:

  • From a long axis bladder slide up and over the colon.
  • From the iliac trifurcation adjust your probe until you get a long CVC and long Aorta.

  • While keeping the CVC and Aorta long and straight across your screen, follow them until you hit the left renal artery. (The hook)
  • Your depth should be at around 2-3cm, sometimes 4-5cm in a very large dog.



Approaching the right adrenal gland:

  • Starting from a flat, long axis right kidney pushed up against the body wall. No intestine over the right kidney should be present. Just right kidney and body wall.

  • From this position, drop only the tail of the probe until the right kidney disappears from view and the CVC and Aorta come into view.

The right adrenal gland typically has a much different appearance when compared to the left adrenal gland.

Need to review the whole series? Click the link below to navigate back to the main page to view the list of the entire series. "No Adrenal Gland Left Behind".