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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • radiography;
  • sacroiliac region;
  • scintigraphy

Nuclear bone scintigraphy is commonly used in the diagnosis of sacroiliac disease in horses. The aim of the present retrospective study was to determine if there was an association between radiopharmaceutical uptake pattern and radiographic appearance of the sacroiliac region in horses. Seventy-nine horses undergoing bone scintigraphy with Tc-99 m-HDP and radiography of the pelvis because of lameness or poor performance were studied. Subjective and semiquantitative methods were used to characterize and compare radiopharmaceutical uptake between horses. Ventrodorsal radiographs of the region were obtained and were evaluated. Subjectively, 70 horses (88.6%) had an abnormal uptake pattern. In nine horses, the sacroiliac region was normal (11.4%). There was no association between subjective evaluation of the scintigraphic images and semiquantitative methods. There was a significant association between radiopharmaceutical uptake and conformation (T- or Y-like form) and shape (butterfly-, wing-, leaf-, or horn-like) of the sacrum. The radiopharmaceutical uptake of the tubera sacralia was significantly higher in males (left side P=0.002, right side P=0.003). In conclusion, the conformation of the sacrum may play an important role in the scintigraphic appearance and may be the cause of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake.