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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • motion-induced blurring;
  • radiography;
  • sacroiliac joint

Radiography is part of evaluating horses with poor performance and pelvic limb lameness; however, the radiographic appearance of the sacroiliac region is poorly described. The goal of the present study was to describe the use of a simple technique to obtain radiographs of the sacroiliac region in the anesthetized horse and to describe the radiographic appearance of this region. Seventy-nine horses underwent radiography of the pelvis under general anesthesia in dorsal recumbency. During a 5s exposure time the horse was actively ventilated to blur the abdominal viscera, which allowed assessment of individual bone structures in 77 horses. A large variation in the shape of the sacral wings, their articulation with the transverse processes of L6, and the relation of the sacrum to the ilium were observed. Females had significantly narrower width of the sacral wings. Broad sacral wings and bony proliferations at the caudal aspect were commonly observed features and their size was highly correlated with gender. In males, caudal osteophytes were significantly larger than in females. Five horses had transitional or hemitransitional vertebrae. Radiography with the ventilation-induced blurring technique is a simple approach that results in diagnostic quality radiographs and delineation of the highly variable bone structures of the sacroiliac region.