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  • Author or Editor: Jeff J. Thomason x
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Objective—To determine the prevalence and severity of osteoarthritis in the metacarpophalangeal joints of Thoroughbred racehorses via development and validation of a quantitative macroscopic evaluation system.

Sample Population—Metacarpophalangeal joints from 50 Thoroughbred racehorses.

Procedures—Joints were collected from horses that died or were euthanized within 60 days of racing. Metacarpophalangeal joints were assessed for osteoarthritic degeneration by use of macroscopic and histologic scoring systems, polarized light microscopy, and cartilage biochemical analysis. The global macroscopic score for the entire metacarpophalangeal joint was based on factors that reflected the size and severity of lesions as well as the involvement of weight-bearing surfaces.

Results—One-third of all 2- and 3-year-old horses had partial-or full-thickness cartilage lesions and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis severity increased until age 6 in this population. Significant correlations were found between macroscopic grade and age, cause of death, glycosaminoglycan depletion, and loss of superficial cartilage zone polarized light intensity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The macroscopic system devised for this study had good correlations with quantitative methods. Two-and 3-year-old horses had full-thickness cartilage lesions that may have been career limiting. Year-to-year attrition and a small population of older horses may have led to underestimation of the prevalence of osteoarthritis in older horses. The macroscopic scoring system was reliable when used by nonexpert and expert users. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1284–1293)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop and determine the feasibility of a novel minimally invasive technique for percutaneous catheterization and embolization of the thoracic duct (PCETD) in dogs and to determine thoricic duct TD pressure at rest and during short-term balloon occlusion of the cranial vena cava (CrVC).

Animals—Fifteen 7- to 11-month-old healthy mixed-breed dogs.

Procedures—Efferent intestinal lymphangiography was performed, and the cisterna chyli was punctured with a trochar needle percutaneously under fluoroscopic guidance. When access was successful, a guide wire was directed into the TD through the needle and a vascular access sheath was advanced over the guide wire. Thoracic duct pressure was measured at rest and during acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC. The TD was then embolized cranial to the diaphragm with a combination of microcoils and cyanoacrylate or ethylene vinyl alcohol.

Results—Successful puncture of the cisterna chyli with advancement of a wire into the TD was possible in 9 of 15 dogs, but successful catheterization was possible in only 5 of 9 dogs. Acute balloon occlusion of the CrVC led to a substantial TD pressure increase in 4 of 4 dogs, and embolization of the TD was successful in 4 of 4 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PCETD can successfully be performed in healthy dogs; however, this minimally invasive technique cannot currently be recommended for routine treatment of chylothorax, in part because of the technically demanding nature of the procedure. An increase in jugular venous pressure led to an increase in TD pressure, potentially predisposing some dogs to developing chylothorax.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research