Injuries of the intercarpal ligaments are an important cause of lameness in performance horses. The purpose of this prospective cadaver study was to determine whether computed tomography (CT) arthrography would be a feasible method for visualizing and characterizing intercarpal ligaments in the horse. One cadaver limb from each of eight nonlame horses was collected immediately after euthanasia. For each limb, overlapping 2.0 mm CT images were acquired before and after injection of iodinated contrast medium into the antebrachiocarpal joint, middle carpal joint, and carpal sheath. Spin echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences were acquired in three planes using a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner in three limbs. Following MRI, colored resin was injected into the synovial structures of these three limbs, limbs were frozen, and anatomic sections were obtained in three planes. Findings from CT arthrograms were compared to findings from precontrast CT, MRI, anatomic slices, and arthroscopy. Medial and lateral palmar intercarpal ligaments, radiocarpal and transverse intercarpal ligaments, and palmar carpal ligament were visible in CT arthrograms of all limbs. The proximal and distal entheses of all ligaments were readily identifiable. Findings indicated that CT arthrography is feasible for visualizing intercarpal ligaments and may be a useful adjunct imaging technique for diagnosing lameness due to suspected carpal ligament injury in horses.
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound