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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether the canine tibial plateau angle (TPA) can be accurately measured from lateral radiographic views of the stifle joint that include only the proximal portion of the tibia.

Sample Population—282 lateral radiographic views of the stifle joint from 128 dogs.

Procedure—236 radiographs were obtained from 102 dogs with no stifle joint disease, and 46 were obtained from 26 dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Radiographs were digitized. Tibial plateau angles were determined by measuring the angle between the intersection of the tibial plateau slope line and perpendiculars to 4 tibial axes. The gold standard TPA was based on a reference axis that used the entire length of the tibia and was determined by the line connecting the midpoint of the tibial intercondylar eminence and the center of the talus. Tibial plateau angle1, TPA2, and TPA3 were based on tibial axes that were determined by use of only the proximal portion of the tibia.

Results—TPA determined on the basis of the shortest proximal reference axis (TPA1) was not accurate. However, as the length of the reference axis increased, reliability of the TPAs obtained from proximal reference axes improved, and their correlations with the gold standard TPA increased ( r = 0.78, 0.86, and 0.92 for TPA1, TPA2, and TPA3, respectively). Equations obtained by regression analysis allowed estimation of the gold standard TPA with some degree of accuracy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of a proximal reference axis to calculate TPA may be an alternative to a calculation based on the full-length axis. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1117–1123)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research