Comparison of Radiography and Computed Tomography to Evaluate Metacarpo/Metatarsophalangeal Joint Pathology of Paired Limbs of Thoroughbred Racehorses with Severe Condylar Fracture

Authors

  • JOSEPH W. MORGAN DVM,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • ELIZABETH M. SANTSCHI DVM, Diplomate ACVS,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • LISA J. ZEKAS DVM, Diplomate ACVR,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • MARY C. SCOLLAY-WARD DVM,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • MARK D. MARKEL DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • CATHERINE L. RADTKE DVM,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • SUSANNAH J. SAMPLE BS,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • NICHOLAS S. KEULER MS,

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • PETER MUIR BVSc, MVetClinStud, PhD, Diplomate ACVS

    1. From the Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, FL.
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  • Presented at the 15th Annual American College of Veterinary Surgeons Symposium, San Diego, CA, October 2005.

Address reprint request to Dr. Elizabeth M. Santschi, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, School of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 Linden Drive, Madison, WI, 53707. E-mail: santsche@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu.

Abstract

Objective— To compare the orthogonal radiographic (OR) and computed tomographic (CT) appearance of paired Thoroughbred racehorse limbs with severe condylar fracture.

Study Design— In vitro study.

Sample Population— Cadaveric paired limbs with severe condylar fracture (n=11 horses).

Methods— Four standard radiographic and multiple transverse CT images were obtained of the fractured and contralateral limbs centering on the metacarpo/metatarsophalangeal (fetlock) joints. Radiographs and CT images were graded by 4 raters, and interobserver agreement was calculated. Imaging evaluations were supplemented by fetlock joint dissection. A consensus description of actual injury and the detection accuracy of OR and CT for that injury was determined.

Results— Rater agreement for OR and CT for most pathologic features was good or excellent. OR was similar to CT for the detection of condylar and diaphyseal third metacarpal and metatarsal (MC/MT3) fractures, diaphyseal fractures of the first phalanx (P1), and fracture location on the condyle. CT was superior to OR for detection of MC/MT3 proximal fissures and articular comminution, condylar small cracks and lucencies, and proximal sesamoid fractures. OR was superior to CT for detection of proximal P1 dorsal fractures. Both OR and CT were poor at detecting palmar/planter proximal P1 fractures and coalescing cracks in the subchondral bone of MC/MT3.

Conclusions— CT is better than OR for detection of pathology in limbs with condylar fractures, but does not detect every pathologic feature.

Clinical Relevance— CT provides superior information of pathology in Thoroughbred racehorses with condylar fractures.

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