Objective—To use computed tomography (CT) to provide a detailed description of elbow joint structures in clinically normal dogs.
Animals—6 clinically normal adult mixed-breed dogs weighing 24 to 37 kg and one 12-month-old Labrador Retriever weighing 27 kg.
Procedure—To perform CT of both elbow regions, dogs were anesthetized and placed in lateral recumbency. One- and 2-mm contiguous slices were obtained by use of a third generation computed tomographic scanner. Good resolution and anatomic detail were acquired from the computed tomographic images by use of a bone (window width, 3,500 Hounsfield units; window level, 500 Hounsfield units) and soft-tissue setting (window width, 400 Hounsfield units; window level, 66 Hounsfield units). After euthanasia, the forelimbs from the Labrador Retriever were removed and frozen in water at –18oC. Elbow joints were sectioned into approximately 1- mm-thick slab sections by use of an electric planer. Anatomic sections were photographed and compared with the corresponding computed tomographic images. Computed tomographic reconstructions of the elbow joint were created in sagittal and dorsal planes.
Results—Structures on the computed tomographic images were matched with structures in the corresponding anatomic sections. The entire humeroradioulnar joint surface could be evaluated on the reconstructed images in the sagittal and dorsal plane.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Computed tomographic images provide full anatomic detail of the bony structures of the elbow joint in dogs. Muscles, large blood vessels, and nerves can also be evaluated. These results could be used as a basis for evaluation of computed tomographic images of the forelimbs of dogs with elbow joint injuries. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1400–1407)