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Identification of Heterotopic Mineralization and Adjacent Pathology in the Equine Fetlock Region by Low-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cone-Beam and Fan-Beam Computed Tomography.

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Lin, Szu-Ting 
Peter, Vanessa G 
Schiavo, Stefano 
Pokora, Rachel 
Patrick, Hayley 


Heterotopic mineralization in equine distal limbs has been considered an incidental finding and little is known about its imaging features. The study aimed to identify heterotopic mineralization and adjacent pathology in the fetlock region with cone-beam (CB) computed tomography (CT), fan-beam (FB) CT, and low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Images from 12 equine cadaver limbs were examined for heterotopic mineralization and adjacent pathology and verified by macro-examination. Retrospective review of the CBCT/MR images from 2 standing horses was also included. CBCT and FBCT identified twelve mineralization's with homogeneous hyperattenuation: oblique-sesamoidean-ligament (5) without macroscopic abnormality; deep-digital-flexor-tendon (1) and suspensory-branch (6) with macroscopic abnormalities. MRI failed to identify all mineralization's, but detected suspensory branch splitting, and T2 and STIR hyperintensity in 4 suspensory-branches and 3 oblique-sesamoidean-ligaments. Macro-examination found corresponding disruption/splitting and discoloration. All modalities identified 7 ossified fragments showing cortical/trabecular pattern: capsular (1), palmar sagittal ridge (1), proximal phalanx (2) without macroscopic abnormality, and proximal sesamoid bones (3). On MRI, fragments were most identifiable on T1 images. All abaxial avulsions had suspensory-branch splitting on T1 images with T2 and STIR hyperintensity. Macro-examination showed ligament disruption/splitting and discoloration. Suspensory-branch/intersesamoidean ligament mineralization's were identified by CBCT in standing cases; 1 had associated T2 hyperintensity. Both CT systems were generally superior in identifying heterotopic mineralization's than MRI, while MRI provided information on soft tissue pathology related to the lesions, which may be important for management.



Avulsion fragment, Computed tomography (CT), Cone-beam, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Mineralisation, Horses, Animals, Horse Diseases, Joints, Bone and Bones, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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J Equine Vet Sci

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Elsevier BV