Contrast radiography with positive-pressure insufflation (PPI) at 20 cm of water pressure was evaluated for safety and analyzed for potential diagnostic use in 6 male northern pintails (Anas acuta). Ducks were anesthetized for either 2 or 3 procedures, 1 week apart, then euthanized and necropsied after the final procedure. Air sac areas on survey and PPI radiographs were measured to calculate average percent increase of visible air sac area after PPI. No clinical complications resulted from PPI procedures. Birds recovered quickly without respiratory distress. No gross or microscopic respiratory lesions associated with PPI were identified at necropsy. Average percent increases in air sac areas resulting from PPI on lateral and ventrodorsal radiographs were 79% and 90%, respectively. As judged subjectively by attending clinical veterinarians, cardiohepatic, air sac, lung, renal, gastrointestinal, vertebral, and testicular margins and boundaries were more distinct as a result of PPI. PPI in an avian patient using air as a negative contrast medium is a safe, effective technique that potentially allows increased radiographic diagnostic capability.
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Vol. 15 • No. 3