Use of high-field and low-field magnetic resonance imaging to describe the anatomy of the proximal portion of the tarsal region of nonlame horses

Marianna Biggi Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

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 DVM, PhD
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Sue J. Dyson Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

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 VetMB, PhD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To use high-field and low-field MRI to describe the anatomy of the proximal portion of the tarsal region (proximal tarsal region) of nonlame horses.

SAMPLE 25 cadaveric equine tarsi.

PROCEDURES The proximal portion of 1 tarsus from each of 25 nonlame horses with no history of tarsal lameness underwent high-field (1.5-T) and low-field (0.27-T) MRI. Resulting images were used to subjectively describe the anatomy of that region and obtain measurements of the collateral ligaments of the tarsocrural joint.

RESULTS Long and short components of the lateral and medial collateral ligaments of the tarsocrural joint were identified. Various bundles of the short collateral ligaments were difficult to delineate on low-field images. Ligaments typically had low signal intensity in all sequences; however, multiple areas of increased signal intensity were identified at specific locations in most tarsi. This signal intensity was attributed to focal magic angle effect associated with orientation of collagen fibers within the ligaments at those locations. Subchondral bone of the distal aspect of the tibia was uniform in thickness, whereas that of the medial trochlear ridge of the talus was generally thicker than that of the lateral trochlear ridge. In most tarsi, subchondral bone of the talocalcaneal joint decreased in thickness from proximal to distal.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results generated in this study can be used as a reference for interpretation of MRI images of the proximal tarsal region in horses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To use high-field and low-field MRI to describe the anatomy of the proximal portion of the tarsal region (proximal tarsal region) of nonlame horses.

SAMPLE 25 cadaveric equine tarsi.

PROCEDURES The proximal portion of 1 tarsus from each of 25 nonlame horses with no history of tarsal lameness underwent high-field (1.5-T) and low-field (0.27-T) MRI. Resulting images were used to subjectively describe the anatomy of that region and obtain measurements of the collateral ligaments of the tarsocrural joint.

RESULTS Long and short components of the lateral and medial collateral ligaments of the tarsocrural joint were identified. Various bundles of the short collateral ligaments were difficult to delineate on low-field images. Ligaments typically had low signal intensity in all sequences; however, multiple areas of increased signal intensity were identified at specific locations in most tarsi. This signal intensity was attributed to focal magic angle effect associated with orientation of collagen fibers within the ligaments at those locations. Subchondral bone of the distal aspect of the tibia was uniform in thickness, whereas that of the medial trochlear ridge of the talus was generally thicker than that of the lateral trochlear ridge. In most tarsi, subchondral bone of the talocalcaneal joint decreased in thickness from proximal to distal.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results generated in this study can be used as a reference for interpretation of MRI images of the proximal tarsal region in horses.

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