Echotextural characteristics of the mammary gland during early lactation in two breeds of sheep varying in milk yields

Maciej Murawski , Tomasz Schwarz , Mark Jamieson , Ahmadi Bahareh , Paweł Bartlewski


The main goal of this preliminary study was to determine and compare ultrasonographic characteristics of the mammary gland in two genotypes of ewes varying in milk productivity at 2, 3 and 4 weeks after lambing. Ultrasonographic images of the udder were obtained using the 5.0- and 7.5-MHz transducers, in axial and coronal planes, in four low milk-yielding Polish Mountain sheep and six high milk-yielding Olkuska ewes. All ultrasonograms were subjected to computerized image analyses using commercially available image analytical software (Image ProPlus®; Media Cybernetics Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) to determine numerical pixel values (NPVs) and heterogeneity (pixel standard deviation-PSD) of the mammary gland parenchyma. During the 28-day period post-partum, the Olkuska sheep exceeded (P < 0.05) Polish Mountain ewes in milk productivity (31.6 ± 2.7 l and 25.0 ± 4.2 l, respectively; means ± SEMs) as estimated by the mean weight gains of suckling lambs. In animals examined with the 5.0-MHz transducer, mean NPVs of the mammary gland parenchyma in Olkuska ewes and mean PSD in both genotypes of ewes were lower (P < 0.05) before than after milking. In addition, PSD recorded both before and after milking were lower (P < 0.05) in the Polish Mountain compared with Olkuska breed. Mean PSD values for the mammary gland were less (P < 0.05) before than after milking in Polish Mountain ewes and they were greater (P < 0.05) in Olkuska compared with Polish Mountain ewes examined with the 7.5-MHz probe after milking. It can be concluded that milk quantity, histomorphology of the udder and ultrasound transducer frequency may all impinge on the echotextural characteristics of the mammary parenchyma in different breeds of sheep. Our observations warrant future studies of correlations between milk composition, mammary gland histophysiology and ultrasonographic image attributes of the mammary gland in ruminants.
Author Maciej Murawski (FoAS / DoAB)
Maciej Murawski,,
- Department of Animal Biotechnology
, Tomasz Schwarz (FoAS / DoSaSRB)
Tomasz Schwarz,,
- Department of Swine and Small Ruminant Breeding
, Mark Jamieson
Mark Jamieson,,
, Ahmadi Bahareh
Ahmadi Bahareh,,
, Paweł Bartlewski
Paweł Bartlewski,,
Journal seriesAnimal Reproduction, ISSN 1806-9614, e-ISSN 1984-3143, (N/A 40 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishsheep; milk; lactation; mammary gland; ultrasonography
ASJC Classification3400 General Veterinary; 1103 Animal Science and Zoology
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); after publication
Echotextural characteristics of the mammary gland during early lactation in two breeds of sheep varying in milk yields of 05-12-2019
1,16 MB
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.4; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 0.985 (2) - 2018=1.125 (5)
Citation count*
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FinansowanieStatutory funds of the Department of Animal Biotechnology, University of Agriculture in Kraków (#DS-3242) and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph.
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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