Changes in testicular size, echotexture, and arterial blood flow associated with the attainment of puberty in Dorper rams raised in a subtropical climate

Efigénia S. C. Camela , Ricardo P. Nociti , Victor J. C. Santos , Beatrice I. Macente , Maciej Murawski , Wilter R. R. Vicente , Paweł M. Bartlewski , Maria Emilia F. Oliveira


There is a paucity of information on the relationships of testicular morphology, echotextural attributes, and blood flow dynamics with pubertal development of rams raised in a subtropical climate. Forty‐five Dorper rams (24 rams aged 8–11 months and 21 rams aged 12–24 months) were examined using a portable ultrasound scanner connected to a 7.5‐MHz transducer. Computer‐assisted analyses of testicular ultrasonograms utilized commercially available Image ProPlus® analytical software. Spectral Doppler scans of testicular arteries were performed immediately after scrotal (B‐mode) ultrasonography to determine peak systolic velocity (PSV), end‐diastolic velocity (EDV), resistive index (RI = [PSV−EDV]/PSV), and pulsatility index (PI = [SPV–EDV]/mean velocity) of the blood vessels. The length of the testes (9.7 ± 0.3 compared with 9.0 ± 0.2 cm) and scrotal circumference (33.3 ± 0.5 compared with 31.8 ± 0.4 cm) were greater (p < 0.05) but testicular depth (4.5 ± 0.1 compared with 4.9 ± 0.08 cm) was less (p < 0.05) in sexually mature compared with peripubertal rams. [Corrections added on 9 Jan 2019 after initial online publication: The testicular size values in the sentence were corrected.] There were no differences (p > 0.05) between the two age groups of Dorper rams in blood flow indices of testicular arteries. Mean numerical pixel values (100.5 ± 4.1 compared with 89.2 ± 4.8) and pixel heterogeneity (25.6 ± 0.6 compared with 23.6 ± 0.5) of testicular parenchyma were greater (p < 0.05) in peripubertal than in postpubertal rams. Semen volume was negatively correlated with PI of testicular arteries (r = −0.57, p = 0.04). In summary, the attainment of sexual maturity in the rams of the present study was associated with significant changes in testicular length and depth, scrotal circumference, and parenchymal echogenicity/hetrogeneity but not in testicular volume and blood perfusion rates. Testicular artery PI can be used to predict the volume of ejaculate in rams.
Author Efigénia S. C. Camela
Efigénia S. C. Camela,,
, Ricardo P. Nociti
Ricardo P. Nociti,,
, Victor J. C. Santos
Victor J. C. Santos ,,
, Beatrice I. Macente
Beatrice I. Macente,,
, Maciej Murawski (FoAS / DoAB)
Maciej Murawski,,
- Department of Animal Biotechnology
, Wilter R. R. Vicente
Wilter R. R. Vicente,,
, Paweł M. Bartlewski
Paweł M. Bartlewski,,
, Maria Emilia F. Oliveira
Maria Emilia F. Oliveira,,
Journal seriesReproduction in Domestic Animals, ISSN 0936-6768, e-ISSN 1439-0531, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishimage analysis, puberty, ram, semen, testis, testosterone, ultrasonography
ASJC Classification1103 Animal Science and Zoology; 1305 Biotechnology; 1310 Endocrinology
Internal identifierWHiBZ/2019/9
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.934; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.638 (2) - 2018=1.677 (5)
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