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Vet J. 2014 Jan;199(1):115-22. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.10.021. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

A comparison of 3-T magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography arthrography to identify structural cartilage defects of the fetlock joint in the horse.

Author information

1
Integrated Veterinary Research Unit (IVRU), Namur Research Institute for Life Sciences (NARILIS), Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Sciences, University of Namur, rue de Bruxelles, 61, 5000 Namur, Belgium.
2
Cliniques Universitaires Montgodinne, UCL, Yvoir, Belgium.
3
Department of Morphology and Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, 4000 Sart-Tilman, Belgium.
4
Department of Musculoskeletal Biology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Leahurst Campus, University of Liverpool, Neston, UK.
5
Integrated Veterinary Research Unit (IVRU), Namur Research Institute for Life Sciences (NARILIS), Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Sciences, University of Namur, rue de Bruxelles, 61, 5000 Namur, Belgium. Electronic address: jean-michel.vandeweerd@fundp.ac.be.

Abstract

Articular cartilage defects are prevalent in metacarpo/metatarsophalangeal (MCP/MTP) joints of horses. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the sensitivity and specificity of 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (3-T MRI) and computed tomography arthrography (CTA) to identify structural cartilage defects in the equine MCP/MTP joint. Forty distal cadaver limbs were imaged by CTA (after injection of contrast medium) and by 3-T MRI using specific sequences, namely, dual-echo in the steady-state (DESS), and sampling perfection with application-optimised contrast using different flip-angle evolutions (SPACE). Gross anatomy was used as the gold standard to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of both imaging techniques. CTA sensitivity and specificity were 0.82 and 0.96, respectively, and were significantly higher than those of MRI (0.41 and 0.93, respectively) in detecting overall cartilage defects (no defect vs. defect). The intra and inter-rater agreements were 0.96 and 0.92, respectively, and 0.82 and 0.88, respectively, for CT and MRI. The positive predictive value for MRI was low (0.57). CTA was considered a valuable tool for assessing cartilage defects in the MCP/MTP joint due to its short acquisition time, its specificity and sensitivity, and it was also more accurate than MRI. However, MRI permits assessment of soft tissues and subchondral bone and is a useful technique for joint evaluation, although clinicians should be aware of the limitations of this diagnostic technique, including reduced accuracy.

KEYWORDS:

Arthrography; CT; Cartilage; Defect; MRI

PMID:
24321368
DOI:
10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.10.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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