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Bone. 2009 Feb;44(2):316-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2008.08.129. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Correlation of quantitative computed tomographic subchondral bone density and ash density in horses.

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  • 1Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. mdrum@utk.edu


The purpose of this study was to compare subchondral bone density obtained using quantitative computed tomography with ash density values from intact equine joints, and to determine if there are measurable anatomic variations in mean subchondral bone density. Five adult equine metacarpophalangeal joints were scanned with computed tomography (CT), disarticulated, and four 1-cm(3) regions of interest (ROI) cut from the distal third metacarpal bone. Bone cubes were ashed, and percent mineralization and ash density were recorded. Three-dimensional models were created of the distal third metacarpal bone from CT images. Four ROIs were measured on the distal aspect of the third metacarpal bone at axial and abaxial sites of the medial and lateral condyles for correlation with ash samples. Overall correlations of mean quantitative CT (QCT) density with ash density (r=0.82) and percent mineralization (r=0.93) were strong. There were significant differences between abaxial and axial ROIs for mean QCT density, percent bone mineralization and ash density (p<0.05). QCT appears to be a good measure of bone density in equine subchondral bone. Additionally, differences existed between axial and abaxial subchondral bone density in the equine distal third metacarpal bone.

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