Medycyna Wet. 62 (3), 266-269, 2006
Tatara M. R.
Current methods for in vivo assessment of the skeletal system in poultry
The proper functioning of the skeletal system plays an essential role in poultry production. Due to the genetic selection of poultry species toward maximum intensification of the production process, skeletal disorders occur very often in these animals. Increased muscle to bone ratio leads to abnormal loading or overloading and skeletal development and mineralization failures, bone fractures and increased mortality. Moreover, intensive production of eggs and locomotory restrictions in cage-housed birds predispose them to osteoporosis and increased incidences of bone fractures. The aim of this review was to present current methods of skeletal system assessment in vivo in poultry. The most common method applied to skeletal system diagnostics is radiography that enables the structural assessment of bones. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and digitized fluoroscopy (DF) are used as a tool for the areal determination of bone mineralization. Quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) may be used as a low-cost method for densitometric measurements with regard to fracture risk assessment in poultry. However, due to three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions as well as the possibility to determine trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), the most advanced technique of skeletal system investigation in live birds is quantitative computed tomography (QCT). In conclusion, the presented methods of in vivo assessment of skeletal system properties should be used for breeding selection and improvement of skeletal system quality in poultry.
Keywords: skeletal system, radiography, quantitative computed tomography