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  • Author or Editor: Kurt T. Selberg x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To investigate tissue diffusion of anesthetic agent following administration of low palmar nerve blocks (LPBs) in horses.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—12 adult horses.

Procedures—In 9 horses, mepivacaine hydrochloride–iohexol (50:50 dilution) injections were administered bilaterally (2 or 4 mL/site) to affect the medial and lateral palmar and palmar metacarpal nerves (4 sites). Lateral radiographic views of both metacarpal regions were obtained before and at 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after block administration; proximal and distal extents of contrast medium (and presumably anesthetic agent) diffusion from palmar and palmar metacarpal injection sites were measured and summed to determine total diffusion. Methylene blue solution was injected in forelimbs of 3 other horses that were subsequently euthanized to determine the potential route of anesthetic agent diffusion to the proximal suspensory ligament region.

Results—Mean extents of proximal and total contrast medium diffusion were 4.0 and 6.6 cm, respectively, for the palmar metacarpal nerves and 4.3 and 7.1 cm, respectively, for the palmar nerves. Subtle proximal diffusion secondary to lymphatic drainage was evident in 17 of the 18 limbs. Contrast medium was detected in the metacarpophalangeal joint or within the digital flexor tendon sheath in 8 and 7 limbs, respectively. In the cadaver limbs, methylene blue solution did not extend to the proximal suspensory ligament region.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, LPBs resulted in minimal proximal diffusion of anesthetic agent from the injection sites. Limbs should be aseptically prepared prior to LPB administration because inadvertent intrasynovial injection may occur.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe the technique and assess the diagnostic potential and limitations of tomosynthesis for imaging of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) of equine cadavers; compare the tomosynthesis appearance of pathological lesions with their conventional radiographic, CT, and MRI appearances; and evaluate all imaging findings with gross lesions of a given MCPJ.


Distal portions of 4 forelimbs from 4 equine cadavers.


The MCPJs underwent radiography, tomosynthesis (with a purpose-built benchtop unit), CT, and MRI; thereafter, MCPJs were disarticulated and evaluated for the presence of gross lesions. The ability to identify pathological lesions on all images was assessed, followed by semiobjective scoring for quality of the overall image and appearance of the subchondral bone, articular cartilage, periarticular margins, and adjacent trabecular bone of the third metacarpal bone, proximal phalanx, and proximal sesamoid bones of each MCPJ.


Some pathological lesions in the subchondral bone of the third metacarpal bone were detectable with tomosynthesis but not with radiography. Overall, tomosynthesis was comparable to radiography, but volumetric imaging modalities were superior to tomosynthesis and radiography for imaging of subchondral bone, articular cartilage, periarticular margins, and adjacent bone.


With regard to the diagnostic characterization of equine MCPJs, tomosynthesis may be more accurate than radiography for identification of lesions within subchondral bone because, in part, of its ability to reduce superimposition of regional anatomic features. Tomosynthesis may be useful as an adjunctive imaging technique, highlighting subtle lesions within bone, compared with standard radiographic findings.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research