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J Vet Med Sci. 2019 Apr 16;81(4):593-597. doi: 10.1292/jvms.18-0530. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Bone marrow oedema-type signal in the proximal phalanx of Thoroughbred racehorses.

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Racehorse Hospital, Miho Training Center, Japan Racing Association, Ibaraki 300-0493, Japan.
Racehorse Hospital, Ritto Training Center, Japan Racing Association, Shiga 520-3085, Japan.
Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association, Tochigi 329-0412, Japan.
Laboratory of Veterinary Radiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan.


This study focused on 8 Thoroughbred racehorses showing bone marrow oedema-type signal in the proximal sagittal groove of the proximal phalanx, with the aim of understanding its clinical significance. Standing magnetic resonance imaging played an important role in assessing osseous abnormalities that were not radiographically identifiable. Further, a histopathological result from one of the cases showed there was oedema surrounding adipose tissues with increase in density of trabecular scaffolding. This may indicate presence of osseous injury within the area of decreased elasticity due to subchondral bone modeling. This study suggests that detection of osseous abnormality based on bone marrow oedema-type signal, and application of appropriate care following injury would contribute to prevent deterioration of stress-related fractures of the proximal phalanx.


Thoroughbred; bone marrow oedema; magnetic resonance imaging; proximal phalanx

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