2021 journal article
Implications of comparative ventral body wall histology on selection of abdominal surgical approach and closure in 12 species of fish
JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, 98(5), 1342–1348.
A ventral midline surgical approach for fish celiotomy is commonly performed in veterinary clinical medicine and research, although the relevant ventral body wall anatomy of many fish species is not well documented. Histological evaluation of tissue samples from the ventral body wall of 12 fish species was performed to provide a reference for surgical approach and closure decisions. The width between muscle bundles running parallel to the long axis and total thickness of tissue layers varied among species. An appreciable space between longitudinal muscles of the ventral body wall and a lack of muscle, vessels and nerves on midline in all species examined supports recommendations of ventral midline incisions to spare important structures. Dense connective tissue consistent with an aponeurosis between musculature along the ventral body wall was not observed in any species evaluated. Connective tissue was concentrated within the dermis of all species evaluated, with an additional layer of collagen along the coelomic membrane in Russian sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, koi Cyprinus carpio, goldfish Carassius auratus, black drum Pogonias cromis, black seabass Centropristis striata, tomtate Haemulon aurolineatum and scup Stenotomus caprinus. A sufficiently wide space on ventral midline for practical targeting during the surgical approach is present in A. gueldenstaedtii, C. carpio, striped bass Morone saxatilis, H. aurolineatum, P. cromis, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and brown trout Salmo trutta. Sand perch Diplectrum formosum, C. auratus, S. caprinus, grey triggerfish Balistes capriscus and black sea bass Centropristis striata have a negligible space between longitudinal muscles on midline. The variation in ventral body wall structure observed in this study helps inform surgical decision making for celiotomy incision and closure in these species.