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Morphological and morphometric trachea sloth (Bradypus variegatus): knowledge for emergency procedures

As the sloth (Bradypus variegatus) is a little studied species, especially from a morphological point of view, this research aimed to define the anatomy of its trachea. The information would facilitate the selection of a proper endotracheal tube, laryngeal mask or tracheostomy tube for anesthesia and emergency procedures, since it appeared to have a special morphology. Eleven young animals of different ages were investigated, four males and seven females, obtained from the Emilio Goeldi Museum and donated to UFRA. The specimens were infused intramuscularly with 10% aqueous formaldehyde for preservation and were later dissected at the cervico-thoracic level, by mesoscopia, exposing the area from the larynx to the right and left primary bronchi at the hilum. The tracheae were divided into five regions (cervical, first flexure, second flexure, third flexure, and carina) for which length and width were measured, as well as the total tracheal length. Sharp windings were seen in the middle caudal portion, including the carina. The average tracheal length was 14.6 cm. Microscopically, the trachea was made up of separate plates of hyaline cartilage forming each ring, lined with ciliated epithelium. Despite the trachea of the common sloth displaying the same lining pattern found in other animals, there are no reports in the literature of other species having a macroscopic morphology as described here, which leads us to suggest, where appropriate access to emergency ventilation, the practice of IOT and not tracheostomy.

Anatomy; histology; trachea; sloth; Bradypus variegatus.

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