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Validation of stress magnetic resonance imaging of the canine stifle joint with and without an intact cranial cruciate ligament

Giovanni Tremolada DMV, PhD1, Matthew D. Winter DVM2, Stanley E. Kim BVSc, MS3, David Spreng DVM, PhD4, and Antonio Pozzi DMV, MS5
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Comparative Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Comparative Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Comparative Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Division of Small Animal Surgery and Orthopedics, Vetsuisse Faculty Bern, University of Bern, Länggasstrasse 128, Bern, Switzerland 3012.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Comparative Orthopaedics Biomechanics Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Abstract

Objective—To validate use of stress MRI for evaluation of stifle joints of dogs with an intact or deficient cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL).

Sample—10 cadaveric stifle joints from 10 dogs.

Procedures—A custom-made limb-holding device and a pulley system linked to a paw plate were used to apply axial compression across the stifle joint and induce cranial tibial translation with the joint in various degrees of flexion. By use of sagittal proton density–weighted MRI, CrCL-intact and deficient stifle joints were evaluated under conditions of loading stress simulating the tibial compression test or the cranial drawer test. Medial and lateral femorotibial subluxation following CrCL transection measured under a simulated tibial compression test and a cranial drawer test were compared.

Results—By use of tibial compression test MRI, the mean ± SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 9.6 ± 3.7 mm and 10 ± 4.1 mm, respectively. By use of cranial drawer test MRI, the mean ± SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 8.3 ± 3.3 mm and 9.5 ± 3.5 mm, respectively. No significant difference in femorotibial subluxation was found between stress MRI techniques. Femorotibial subluxation elicited by use of the cranial drawer test was greater in the lateral than in the medial compartment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Both stress techniques induced stifle joint subluxation following CrCL transection that was measurable by use of MRI, suggesting that both methods may be further evaluated for clinical use.

Abstract

Objective—To validate use of stress MRI for evaluation of stifle joints of dogs with an intact or deficient cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL).

Sample—10 cadaveric stifle joints from 10 dogs.

Procedures—A custom-made limb-holding device and a pulley system linked to a paw plate were used to apply axial compression across the stifle joint and induce cranial tibial translation with the joint in various degrees of flexion. By use of sagittal proton density–weighted MRI, CrCL-intact and deficient stifle joints were evaluated under conditions of loading stress simulating the tibial compression test or the cranial drawer test. Medial and lateral femorotibial subluxation following CrCL transection measured under a simulated tibial compression test and a cranial drawer test were compared.

Results—By use of tibial compression test MRI, the mean ± SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 9.6 ± 3.7 mm and 10 ± 4.1 mm, respectively. By use of cranial drawer test MRI, the mean ± SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 8.3 ± 3.3 mm and 9.5 ± 3.5 mm, respectively. No significant difference in femorotibial subluxation was found between stress MRI techniques. Femorotibial subluxation elicited by use of the cranial drawer test was greater in the lateral than in the medial compartment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Both stress techniques induced stifle joint subluxation following CrCL transection that was measurable by use of MRI, suggesting that both methods may be further evaluated for clinical use.

Contributor Notes

Presented as a poster at the 39th Veterinary Orthopedic Society Meeting, Park City, Utah, March 2013.

Address correspondence to Dr. Pozzi (pozzia@ufl.edu).