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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Lameness examinations and radiography of the distal phalanx and associated soft-tissue structures of the front feet of 103 Thoroughbred racehorses, 4 to 9 years old, were performed to determine normal radiographic appearance and morphometry. Of 103 horses examined, 41 were used in the study that were without clinical signs of foot problems or lameness, had raced at least twice prior to radiography, and had raced at least twice more in the 6 months after radiography.

Lateromedial and dorsoproximal-palmarodistal radiographic views of each front distal phalanx were used to measure 28 bone and soft-tissue structures, and to evaluate 14 radiographic findings. Significant differences were not observed between left and right digits for any radiographic determination.

Mean thickness of the soft tissues dorsal to the distal phalanx, which provides an evaluation of the epidermal laminae, was 14.6 ± 1.0 mm when measured adjacent to the distal aspect of the distal phalanx. Most horses had straight, smooth hoof walls that were parallel to the dorsal cortex of the distal phalanx. The mean degree of palmar rotation of the distal phalanx was −0.5 ± 1.3, and none was rotated more than 4°.

The dorsal cortex was smooth and straight, without bone deposition or reaction in either digit for only 5 of the 41 horses. Active bone formation was seen unilaterally along the middle portion of the dorsal cortex in 7 horses, and along the distal portion of the dorsal cortex in 4 of the phalanges from 3 horses. New bone formation along the distal dorsal cortex was often accompanied by resorption of the palmar cortex. For 26 of the 31 horses without active bone deposition, smooth inactive bone formation along the midportion of the dorsal cortex was identified in 1 or both distal phalanges.

Bone at the solar margin of the distal phalanx was uniformly dense and finely trabeculated, without evidence of resorption or fractures. Severe irregularity of the solar margin was not found in any digit, and the margin of both phalanges was smooth in 8 horses. Various degrees of solar margin irregularity were observed in the other 33 horses.

The mean number of vascular canals within the distal phalanx was 8.4 ± 1.7, and the diameter of the largest canal was 3.4 ± 0.6 mm. A mean number of 2.0 ± 1.2 vascular canals was oriented parallel to the radiographic beam on the dorsoproximal-palmarodistal view, and these were termed end-on vessels, because they were visualized as radiolucent dots ≥ 1 mm in diameter in the central portion of the distal phalanx.

Racing performance of horses with subtle radiographic signs of laminitis (palmar rotation, hoof wall curvature or undulations, palmar cortical resorption, distal dorsal cortical bone deposition) was poorer than that of horses without these signs. These findings are suggestive of a subclinical laminitis condition, which may influence performance without causing overt clinical signs.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Radiography and soft tissue- and bone-phase scintigraphy were performed on 14 clinically normal horses and 35 horses in which definite, probable, or possible navicular disease had been diagnosed. The specificity of radiography and scintigraphy in revealing signs of navicular disease were nearly equal; however, the sensitivity of scintigraphy appeared to be greater than that of radiography. The greatest sensitivity and specificity were achieved when the results of radiography and scintigraphy were evaluated together. Differences in sensitivity were greatest when scintigraphy revealed lesions not detected by radiography. Although a diagnosis of navicular disease was sometimes made when only soft tissue-phase or only bone-phase scintigraphy revealed lesions, results obtained during the 2 phases generally were similar. It was concluded that scintigraphy can be a valuable aid in diagnosing navicular disease in horses, especially when radiographic findings do not support clinical findings.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns are commonly observed in thoracic radiographs of Thoroughbreds. Prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns are observed in clinically normal horses, and in horses with respiratory tract disease. Until recently, the relevance of these pulmonary patterns was not known. Previous studies indicated that bronchiolitis, bronchiolar epithelial hyperplasia, epithelial metaplasia, and bronchial arteriolar recruitment correlated strongly with the prominence of the interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. We examined the content and distribution of collagen in the lungs of 7 clinically normal Thoroughbreds in race training. After standardized fixation, lung tissue was treated with a compound that selectively stains collagen. Standard morphometric techniques were used to determine the volume density of parenchymal tissue and parenchymal airspace, mean linear intercept (estimate of alveolar size), alveolar surface area-to-volume ratio, percentage of parenchyma composed of collagen, percentage of airway wall composed of collagen, and airway wall thickness. These values were compared with radiographic and histopathologic scores obtained from the same horses. The volume density of parenchymal tissue and small airway wall thickness correlated strongly with the prominence of the bronchial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. Small airway thickness was also highly correlated with the perceived prominence of the interstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically, and morphometric estimates of parenchymal tissue and parenchymal collagen. There were also strong correlations between the volume density of parenchymal tissue, the percentage of parenchymal collagen, peribronchiolar mononuclear cell infiltrates, and bronchiolar mucosal plication estimates. In horses with more prominent bronchiolar mucosal plication, there was a strong direct relation to the observed prominence of peribronchiolar and submucosal blood vessels, and the bronchial and bronchointerstitial patterns observed radiographically. Horses with prominent peribronchiolar mononuclear cell infiltrates also had more obvious interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. There also was a direct correlation between the percentage of parenchymal collagen and the observed prominence of peribronchiolar and submucosal blood vessels in these horses. In all horses, there was a strong negative correlation between the estimated average alveolar size and the observed severity of the vascular and bronchial patterns observed radiographically.

Four horses with the greatest estimated airway wall and interalveolar collagen had more prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial densities and histopathologic evidence of bronchiolitis. These horses had evidence of epithelial basement membrane disruption, with disorganized collagen fibers running between the adventitial layer and the epithelial basement membrane. Amounts of collagen were greater in the adventitia and interalveolar septa, with the fibers appearing larger and more coarse and disorganized. In horses with the greatest percentage of interalveolar septal collagen, accumulations of collagen were larger in the interalveolar septal tips. These findings suggest that horses with prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns radiographically have undergone previous episodes of pulmonary injury, which has resulted in deposition of increased amounts of collagen in interalveolar septa and airway walls.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

The source of a previously described radiolucent crescent in the flexor cortex of the distal sesamoid (navicular) bone on the palmaro45°proximal-palmarodistal oblique (Pa45°Pr-PaDio) clinical radiographic projection was investigated in 48 forelimb navicular bones from 24 Thoroughbreds by use of high-detail radiography and x-ray computed tomography (ct). Twenty-five of these bones also were evaluated, using microradiography and histologic examinations. Of these 25 bones, 5 had been labeled in vivo with fluorochrome markers. Tetrachrome-stained 100-µm-thick nondecalcified sections of these 5 bones were examined, using epifluorescence microscopy.

A reinforcement line of compacted cancellous bone, parallel and several millimeters deep to the flexor cortex in the region of the flexor central eminence, was visualized by ct in 42 of 48 navicular bones and by microradiography in 23 of 25 navicular bones investigated. Variable degrees of compaction were observed in the cancellous bone between the flexor cortex and the reinforcement line. High-detail skyline radiographic projections and reconstructed ct images indicated a crescent-shaped lucency within the flexor central eminence of the flexor cortex in the bones in which the reinforcement line was identified, but the cancellous bone between the reinforcement line and the flexor cortex had not been compacted. The radiolucent crescent seen in the flexor central eminence of the navicular bone on the Pa45°Pr-PaDiO projection was not caused by the concave defect or synovial fossa of the flexor central eminence overlying the flexor cortex, as was described. The crescent-shaped lucency within the navicular bone flexor central eminence identified on clinical radiographs was associated with remodeling of cancellous bone within the medullary cavity of the navicular bone. It is hypothesized that remodeling of the cancellous bone is secondary to biomechanical stresses and strains placed on the navicular bone, although the clinical relevance of this finding was not determined during the study.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

For 16 dogs with testicular neoplasia (n = 19 tumors), ultrasonography was performed to determine whether a correlation exists between ultrasonographic features of testicular tumors and cell type. The echogenicity of the tumors varied depending on the size of the tumor and whether the tumor had focal or diffuse distribution within the testis. The ultrasonographic characteristics of Sertoli cell tumors were variable, with no predominant pattern. This variation may be related to tumor size, because 6 of 7 Sertoli cell tumors were > 5 cm in diameter. Focal seminomas and interstitial cell tumors < 3 cm in diameter had hypoechoic texture. Focal seminomas and interstitial cell tumors > 3 cm in diameter had mixed echogenicity. Tumors of multiple cell types were > 5 cm in diameter and had mixed echogenicity. In valuable breeding dogs with a small (< 3 cm) focal intrascrotal lesion, testicular ultrasonography would be of benefit for localization of the mass to the testis or epididymis for subsequent biopsy. In dogs with intra-abdominal neoplastic testes, ultrasonography may be of benefit in determining intra-abdominal metastases and invasion of contiguous structures.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association