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  • Author or Editor: Anton E. Fürst x
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To determine morphological characteristics of subchondral cystic lesions (SCLs) in the proximal phalanx (PP) of adult horses.


Radiographs and/or CT scans of PP from 46 horses.


There were horses with a SCL in PP, which was diagnosed by radiography and/or computed tomography, included. Additional data (signalment, history, orthopedic examination) were collected retrospectively for each case.


Forty-six horses met the required inclusion criteria, with a total of 62 SCLs. Forty-three SCLs (70.5%) were located in the proximal PP (group A). Forty-four percent of these were associated with short, incomplete fractures, while 30 of the proximal PP SCLs (69.7%) were found mid sagittal. Proximal SCLs mostly showed a blurred, irregular shape (62.8%) and long, as well as wide, but shallow shapes in CT. Eighteen SCLs (29.5%) were found in the distal PP, near the proximal interphalangeal joint (group B). In contrast to the described proximal SCLs, the distal SCLs were of circular or oval shape, well delineated (77.8%), and distinctly larger. Horses of group A were significantly older (mean age, 11.47 years) than horses of group B (mean age, 6.72 years).


The distribution and morphological attributes of proximal PP SCLs as well as their association to subchondral bone lesions and short, incomplete proximal fractures indicate more recently developed lesions due to chronic stress factors, such as repetitive trauma to the cartilage and subchondral bone. In contrast, morphology and distribution of distal SCLs showed high accordance with developmental bone cysts originating from a failure of endochondral ossification.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To characterize delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) features of healthy hyaline cartilage of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) of horses, to determine whether dGEMRIC can be used to differentiate various stages of naturally occurring osteoarthritis of the DIPJ, and to correlate relaxation times determined by dGEMRIC with the glycosaminoglycan concentration, water content, and macroscopic and histologic findings of hyaline cartilage of DIPJs with and without osteoarthritis.

SAMPLE 1 cadaveric forelimb DIPJ from each of 12 adult warmblood horses.

PROCEDURES T1-weighted cartilage relaxation times were obtained for predetermined sites of the DIPJ before (T1preGd) and after (T1postGd) intra-articular gadolinium administration. Corresponding cartilage sites underwent macroscopic, histologic, and immunohistochemical evaluation, and cartilage glycosaminoglycan concentration and water content were determined. Median T1preGd and T1postGd were correlated with macroscopic, histologic, and biochemical data. Mixed generalized linear models were created to evaluate the effects of cartilage site, articular surface, and macroscopic and histologic scores on relaxation times.

RESULTS 122 cartilage specimens were analyzed. Median T1postGd was lower than the median T1preGd for normal and diseased cartilage. Both T1preGd and T1postGd were correlated with macroscopic and histologic scores, whereby T1preGd increased and T1postGd decreased as osteoarthritis progressed. There was topographic variation of T1preGd and T1postGd within the DIPJ. Cartilage glycosaminoglycan concentration and water content were significantly correlated with T1preGd and macroscopic and histologic scores but were not correlated with T1postGd.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that dGEMRIC relaxation times varied for DIPJs with various degrees of osteoarthritis. These findings may help facilitate early detection of osteoarthritis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research