Author(s): Hayes KE, Pierson RA, Scraba ST, Ginther OJ
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Abstract The morphological changes in ultrasound images of the uterus at various times of the year were characterized in nonbred mares, using a linear-array scanner. The uterus was recorded as having an ultrasonic morphology characteristic of diestrus (uterine score 1, endometrial folds not visible), estrus (score 3, distinct endometrial folds), or an intermediate stage (score 2). In Experiment I, uterine scores for the first ovulatory period of the year were compared to scores for the second period in 23 pony mares. More mares (P<0.05) showed endometrial folding prior to the second ovulation of the year (14 23 ) than prior to the first (5 23 ). Mean uterine scores were higher (P<0.05) on Day -10 (ovulation = Day 0) and tended to be higher (P<0.1) on Days -14, -13, and -11 of the first ovulatory period than on the corresponding days of the second period. Uterine scores for the first ovulatory period were lower (P<0.05) on Days -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, and 0 and tended to be lower (P<0.01) on Day -6. In addition, the pattern of change in uterine scores paralleled the pattern of change in the intensity of estrous behavior. In Experiment II, in 20 horse mares, the curve for uterine scores during interovulatory intervals in May-June, but not in September-October, was bimodal due to a small rise (P<0.05) and subsequent return to baseline between Days +3 and +6. The mean uterine scores for both May-June and September-October began to increase on Day -7 or -8, reached maximum on Day -3, declined between Days -2 and 0, continued to decline after Day 0, and reached a value characteristic of diestrus by Day +2. Results indicated that the ultrasonic characteristics of the uterus may provide an instant indicator of estrogen exposure and may have practical value in judging the optimal time to breed.
This article was published in Theriogenology
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science