Objective—To evaluate subchondral bone density patterns in elbow joints of clinically normal dogs by use of computed tomographic (CT) osteoabsorptiometry.
Sample Population—20 cadaver forelimbs from 10 clinically normal dogs.
Procedure—Each elbow joint was imaged in parasagittal and transverse planes of 1.5-mm thickness. Slice data were converted to dipotassium phosphate equivalent density (PPED) values. Sagittal, parasagittal, and transverse medial coronoid process topographic maps were constructed. Defined zones were created for each of the 3 CT planes, and confluence and peak PPED values were determined.
Results—The lowest PPED value was 340 mg/ml (articular and subchondral confluence), and the highest was 1780 mg/ml (peak subchondral density). Detectable effects of joint laterality were not found in the confluence or peak PPED measurements or in the peak-to-confluence PPED ratio for all 3 CT planes. Significant differences were found among zones in all 3 planes for confluence and peak PPED measurements and between sagittal and transverse planes for peak-to-confluence PPED ratios. Subjectively, the pattern of density distribution among dogs was fairly consistent for the sagittal and parasagittal slices. Three specific patterns of density distribution were apparent on the transverse topographic maps of the medial coronoid process that corresponded to conformational differences.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of CT osteoabsorptiometry provides a repeatable technique that can be used to noninvasively examine bone density and the effects of stress acting on joints in vivo. Variability in density values for any of the CT planes was not identified among clinically normal dogs. (Am J Vet Ress 2002;63:1159–1166