Computed Tomography Of The Lung Of Healthy Snakes Of The Species Python Regius, Boa Constrictor, Python Reticulatus, Morelia Viridis, Epicrates Cenchria, And Morelia Spilota


Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2009;50:487-491.

Thirty-nine healthy boid snakes representing six different species (Python regius, Boa constrictor, Python reticulatus, Morelia viridis, Epicrates cenchria, and Morelia spilota) were examined using computed tomography (CT) to characterize the normal appearance of the respiratory tissue. Assessment was done subjectively and densitometry was performed using a defined protocol. The length of the right lung was calculated to be 11.1% of the body length, without a significant difference between species. The length of the left lung in proportion to the right was dependent on the species examined. The most developed left lung was in P. regius (81.2%), whereas in B. constrictor, the left lung was vestigial or absent (24.7%). A median attenuation of 2212814.6†HU and a variability of 45.9†HU were calculated for all species with no significant difference between species. Within the species, a significantly higher attenuation was found for P. regius in the dorsal and cranial aspect of the lung compared with the ventral and caudal part. In B. constrictor, the reduced left lung was significantly hyperattenuating compared with the right lung. Results of this study emphasize the value of CT and provide basic reference data for assessment of the snake lung in these species.