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Evaluation of accuracy of the Finnish elbow dysplasia screening protocol in Labrador retrievers


  • Part of this study was presented at the Annual Scientific Conference of the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, Germany, 2010.



To determine whether the current Finnish screening method using a single flexed mediolateral view as scored by osteophyte is sufficient to diagnose mild elbow dysplasia in Labrador retrievers and to determine if an additional craniocaudal oblique projection would result in improvement in the screening protocol.

Materials and Methods

Thirteen dogs with one mildly affected elbow joint and one elbow joint without radiological evidence of osteophytes were studied. Radiographic and computed tomography studies were performed and the results compared with each other.


Medial compartment disease was observed in 14 of 26 joints based on computed tomography. The sensitivity and specificity of the grading based mainly on osteoarthritis was 79 and 92%, respectively. A strong association existed between elbow dysplasia based on computed tomography and medial humeral epicondylar osteophytes on the craniocaudal projection.

Clinical Significance

A single mediolateral flexed radiograph is reliable in diagnosing mild elbow dysplasia in Labrador retrievers. However, the craniocaudal oblique projection increases the specificity of the diagnosis, and it is proposed that it be included in the radiographic protocol in this breed.