• canine;
  • intracondylar fissure;
  • IOHC;
  • MR;
  • spaniels

Incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle (IOHC) is characterized by an intracondylar fissure located where the intercondylar physis is present in growing dogs. Its radiologic and computed tomographic features have been described but the magnetic resonance (MR) features have not been characterized. Our purpose was to further describe the range of MRappearances of IOHC, to assess the diagnostic capability of MRrelative to radiology, and to determine whether MRis able to identify the disease before a fissure forms. Thirty-eight elbow MRscans and radiographs, when available, were reviewed and divided into three groups. In Group 1 (affected elbows, n = 22), there was an intracondylar defect on MRwith variable appearance; the defect was not visible radiographically in 32% of the elbows. The main difference between Group 2 (nonaffected elbows, n = 6) and Group 3 (contralaterals to IOHC or to condylar fracture, without fissure, n = 10) was the appearance of the humeral condyle in short tau inversion recovery (STIR) sequences: all elbows in Group 2 had a homogeneous humeral condyle, whereas all but one in Group 3 were heterogeneous. One dog in Group 3 developed a complete condylar fissure 7 months after the first examination, when no evidence of an intracondylar defect had been detected. The MRappearance of IOHC is variable and a heterogeneous humeral condyle in STIR images without a clear defect may warn of the possibility for the subsequent development of a condylar fissure.