Objective—To provide a detailed description of the
vascular anatomy of the distal portion of the forelimbs
of horses by use of computed tomography angiography
Sample Population—6 forelimbs of 5 horses and 1
forelimb from an equine cadaver; none of the horses
had orthopedic or vascular disease.
Procedure—Horses were anesthetized and CTA was
conducted on the dependent forelimb. A catheter
was inserted in the median artery, and contrast medium
was infused at a rate of 3 mL/s. A computed
tomography (CT) scanner was used to obtain contiguous
slices from the region of the proximal sesamoid
bones to the toe. All horses were allowed to recover
from anesthesia. To help identify vessel patterns in
the distal portion of the forelimb, the median artery
and lateral palmar digital vein of a heparinized forelimb
obtained from an equine cadaver were infused
with red and blue polymethylmethacrylate and the
distal portion of that forelimb was then sectioned to
correspond to CTA images.
Results—Vessel patterns in CTA images matched
vascular anatomic structures of the cadaver forelimb
and were consistent with published anatomic structures.
Major and minor vessels were consistently visible
in CTA images of all horses. There were no complications
reported in any horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of CTA
provided a highly detailed depiction of the vasculature
of the distal portion of the equine forelimb. This was
a safe technique and should be useful in the evaluation
of the blood supply to the distal portion of the
forelimb. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1409–1420)