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Determination of correlation of proximal sesamoid bone osteoarthritis with high-speed furlong exercise and catastrophic sesamoid bone fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses

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  • 1 From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Cresswell, Ruspi, Wollman, Peal, Deng, Toler, Reesink), Biological Sciences (McDonough), and Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences (Palmer), College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850. Ms. Wollman's present address is the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Dr. Peal's present address is the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695. Ms. Deng's present address is the Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine whether proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) articular cartilage and bone osteoarthritic changes or palmar osteochondral disease (POD) scores were associated with exercise history and catastrophic PSB fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses.

SAMPLE

PSBs from 16 Thoroughbred racehorses (8 with and 8 without PSB fracture).

PROCEDURES

Exercise history was collected, and total career high-speed furlongs was used as the measure of total exercise per horse. At necropsy, medial and lateral condyles of the third metacarpus from each forelimb were assigned a POD score, followed by imaging with micro-CT for evaluation of osteophyte size. Three investigators that were blinded to the type of PSB (fracture or no fracture) used the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) scoring system to evaluate acellularity, chondrocyte necrosis, cartilage fibrillation, chondrone formation, safranin O stain uptake, and tidemark advancement of 1 central sagittal tissue section/PSB (4 PSBs/horse). Cartilage thickness and bone necrosis were scored on the basis of histologic examination.

RESULTS

POD score, osteophyte size score, percentage of bone necrosis, tidemark advancement, chondrone formation, and total OARSI score were greater in horses with more accrued total career high-speed furlongs. Scores for POD, osteophyte size, fibrillation, acellularity, chondrone formation, and total OARSI were greater for horses with PSB fracture.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

OARSI scoring revealed that more advanced osteoarthritic changes strongly correlated with total career high-speed furlongs and PSB fracture. However, the effect of exercise was dominant, suggesting that exercise history will be important to include in future models that aim to assess risk factors for catastrophic PSB fracture.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine whether proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) articular cartilage and bone osteoarthritic changes or palmar osteochondral disease (POD) scores were associated with exercise history and catastrophic PSB fracture in Thoroughbred racehorses.

SAMPLE

PSBs from 16 Thoroughbred racehorses (8 with and 8 without PSB fracture).

PROCEDURES

Exercise history was collected, and total career high-speed furlongs was used as the measure of total exercise per horse. At necropsy, medial and lateral condyles of the third metacarpus from each forelimb were assigned a POD score, followed by imaging with micro-CT for evaluation of osteophyte size. Three investigators that were blinded to the type of PSB (fracture or no fracture) used the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) scoring system to evaluate acellularity, chondrocyte necrosis, cartilage fibrillation, chondrone formation, safranin O stain uptake, and tidemark advancement of 1 central sagittal tissue section/PSB (4 PSBs/horse). Cartilage thickness and bone necrosis were scored on the basis of histologic examination.

RESULTS

POD score, osteophyte size score, percentage of bone necrosis, tidemark advancement, chondrone formation, and total OARSI score were greater in horses with more accrued total career high-speed furlongs. Scores for POD, osteophyte size, fibrillation, acellularity, chondrone formation, and total OARSI were greater for horses with PSB fracture.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

OARSI scoring revealed that more advanced osteoarthritic changes strongly correlated with total career high-speed furlongs and PSB fracture. However, the effect of exercise was dominant, suggesting that exercise history will be important to include in future models that aim to assess risk factors for catastrophic PSB fracture.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 857 kb)
    • Supplementary Figure S2 (PDF 149 kb)
    • Supplementary Figure S3 (PDF 422 kb)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Reesink (hlr42@cornell.edu).