Objective—To evaluate subchondral bone density patterns
in elbow joints of clinically normal dogs by use of
computed tomographic (CT) osteoabsorptiometry.
Sample Population—20 cadaver forelimbs from 10
clinically normal dogs.
Procedure—Each elbow joint was imaged in
parasagittal and transverse planes of 1.5-mm thickness.
Slice data were converted to dipotassium phosphate
equivalent density (PPED) values. Sagittal,
parasagittal, and transverse medial coronoid process
topographic maps were constructed. Defined zones
were created for each of the 3 CT planes, and confluence
and peak PPED values were determined.
Results—The lowest PPED value was 340 mg/ml
(articular and subchondral confluence), and the highest
was 1780 mg/ml (peak subchondral density).
Detectable effects of joint laterality were not found in
the confluence or peak PPED measurements or in the
peak-to-confluence PPED ratio for all 3 CT planes.
Significant differences were found among zones in all
3 planes for confluence and peak PPED measurements
and between sagittal and transverse planes for
peak-to-confluence PPED ratios. Subjectively, the pattern
of density distribution among dogs was fairly
consistent for the sagittal and parasagittal slices.
Three specific patterns of density distribution were
apparent on the transverse topographic maps of the
medial coronoid process that corresponded to conformational
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of CT
osteoabsorptiometry provides a repeatable technique
that can be used to noninvasively examine bone density
and the effects of stress acting on joints in vivo.
Variability in density values for any of the CT planes
was not identified among clinically normal dogs.
(Am J Vet Ress 2002;63:1159–1166