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Vet Rec. 2019 Aug 7. pii: vetrec-2019-105459. doi: 10.1136/vr.105459. [Epub ahead of print]

Scintigraphic evaluation of cheek teeth in clinically sound horses.

Author information

Tierklinik Lüsche GmbH, Bakum, Germany.
Pferdepraxis Niemendal, Rheinbach, Germany.
Tierklinik Lüsche GmbH, Bakum, Germany
Institute of Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
University Equine Hospital, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


Dental disorders are one of the top-ranking clinical domains in equine practice. Scintigraphy has emerged as a useful diagnostic imaging modality for equine dental diseases. There is a paucity of the normal scintigraphic uptake and its correlation with age. This prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive and pilot-designed study aimed to describe the radioisotope uptake (RU) patterns of the reserved crown and periodontal bone of the maxillary and mandibular cheek teeth (CT) in clinically sound horses and to evaluate the age effect on RU. For this purpose, 60 horses that underwent a bone scintigraphy for reason unrelated to head were included and divided equally into four age groups. Regions of interests (ROIs) were positioned around alveolar and periodontal bone of each maxillary and mandibular CT including their reserve crown, and a reference ROI positioned at the mandibular ramus. The count per pixel of each ROI was measured using a dedicated software and the RU ratio relative to the reference region was calculated. The results showed that the maxillary and mandibular CT had a standard RU pattern, where it increased from rostral to caudal, and peaked in the middle of dental arcades and decreased slightly towards the last CT. The maxillary CT had a higher RU compared with the mandibular CT, and there was no significant difference in the maxillary and mandibular CT uptake between age groups. This information may aid veterinarians evaluating potentially abnormal dental scintigraphy.


age-related; equine; molar; nuclear medicine; premolar


Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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