Subjective Scoring Method for Evaluation of Uterine Echotexture to Detect Early Pregnancy in Holstein Cows and Heifers

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Olğaç K. T.

Kocatepe Veterinary Journal, vol.16, no.3, pp.326-333, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.30607/kvj.1319566
  • Journal Name: Kocatepe Veterinary Journal
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.326-333
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


In the study, it was aimed to develop a scoring scale, graded from 1 to 5, to identify different gray tones of the ultrasonographic images of uterus, and the pregnancy determination in cows was tried to make by the scoring technique, in the first 20 days after artificial insemination. Sixty Holstein cows (n:30) and heifers (n:30) were enrolled in the study. For each animal, two ultrasonographic images were taken (totally 1320 images) starting from the day of the artificial insemination (D0) until the 20th day (D20) on every other day. At the same time that images were taken, subjective scoring were made. Then, the images were evaluated to determine mean gray value (MGV) by ImageJ (ImageJ 1.53k; NIH, ABD) software. The obtained data at the end of the evaluations were analyzed in terms of age of animals (cow or heifer), the days of examinations (alternate days between D0 and D20) and the 28th day pregnancy status (pregnant or non-pregnant). Also score rates were given by one experienced and one inexperienced independent operators to determine scoring agreement level in terms of experience on the ultrasonographic examinations. The mean MGV values indicated statistically significant differences only between days of sampling (p<0.05). On the other hand, according to other main effects and interactions were not concluded with statistically significant differences (p>0.05). It has been determined that experienced (Rater 1) and inexperienced (Rater 2) raters have agreement (p<0.001) in poor level (κ=0.15). Moreover, scores of the Rater 1 (0.720) were observed that had higher level correlations than Rater 2 (0,541). The gray tone scoring analysis were concluded that the mean of gray tone scoring were not differed significantly in terms of means and two-way interactions between sampling time and pregnancy status (p>0.05). In conclusion, it has been observed that the 256 different shades of gray which is analyzed by computer assisted image analysis could be identified by human eye in a 5 graded scale. However, the endometrium of the ovulation side uterine horn reflects the same differentiation in the presence or absence of pregnancy, in the first 20 days.