MRI and CT have enhanced our diagnostic abilities for equine lameness beyond what is available using radiography and ultrasonography. This has allowed veterinarians to better prognosticate and treat lameness conditions, improving patient outcomes. This article discusses the basic principles behind MRI and CT, their advantages and disadvantages, the different types of equipment available for clinical use in horses, the typical diagnostic workup prior to pursuing advanced imaging, and common regions where MRI and CT are used clinically. The companion Currents in One Health by Spriet, AJVR, July 2022, discusses even more advanced equine imaging in the form of positron emission tomography. Combined, these future directions of MRI, CT, and positron emission tomography may include improved ability to image standing horses or screen for injury prevention.
Objective—To determine the association between results of endoscopic evaluation of arytenoid function (AF) and epiglottic structure (ES) in Thoroughbred yearlings and racing performance at 2 to 4 years of age.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—2,954 Thoroughbred yearlings.
Procedures—Records of yearlings that had endoscopic evaluation of the larynx between 1998 and 2001 were obtained, and results were graded by use of standardized scales. A modified Havemeyer scale (grade I, II.1, II.2, III, or IV) was used to evaluate AF; ES was graded on a scale of 0 to IV. Records were annotated if the epiglottis was subjectively short or narrow. Racing performance data were obtained from an online database.
Results—Horses with grade II.2 AF had significantly less earnings at 4 years of age, compared with earnings of horses with AF grades < II.2. Grade III AF was associated with fewer starts and less earnings at 3 and 4 years of age. No horses met the criteria for grade IV AF. Horses with ES grades > II had less earnings at 2 and 4 years of age, compared with earnings of horses with ES grades < II. A short epiglottis was associated with less earnings at 2 and 3 years of age.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis suggested that yearlings with grade III AF had a decrease in athletic potential. Yearlings with grade II.2 AF, an ES grade > II, or a short epiglottis typically had decreases in racing performance. These factors should be evaluated carefully when developing purchase recommendations.
Objective—To determine the effects of treatment with platelet- and leukocyte-rich plasma (PRP) on future 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old racing performance of yearling Thoroughbreds with proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and associated suspensory ligament branch (SLB) desmitis.
Design—Randomized clinical trial.
Animals—39 yearling Thoroughbreds.
Procedures—Yearling Thoroughbreds with radiographic evidence of performance-limiting proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and ultrasonographic evidence of associated SLB desmitis were identified and randomly assigned to undergo PRP (treatment group) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control group) injection at the affected SLB-proximal sesamoid bone junction. Race records of horses for the 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old racing years were obtained. Data regarding amount of money earned and number of races started were used as outcome measures, and results for groups were compared.
Results—Horses treated with PRP were significantly more likely to start at least 1 race during the 2-year-old racing year than were horses treated with saline solution; no significant differences were detected between groups regarding that variable for the 3- and 4-year-old racing years. No significant differences between groups were detected regarding earnings for any racing year.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although PRP-treated horses were more likely to start a race during the 2-year-old racing year versus control group horses, results for horses in each group were not significantly different for the 3- and 4-year-old racing years. Therefore, the PRP treatment protocol evaluated in this study did not seem to improve future racing performance of yearling Thoroughbreds with proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and associated SLB desmitis, compared with injection of saline solution.