Our aims were to evaluate the pattern of radiopharmaceutical uptake in horses with lameness related to the metacarpophalangeal and/or metatarsophalangeal joint and compare the results with similar information from sound horses. It was hypothesized that there would be a difference in radiopharmaceutical uptake between the lame and contralateral limb in unilaterally lame horses and that there would be a difference between lame and sound horses. Nuclear scintigraphic images of 43 horses with forelimb lameness and 30 horses with hindlimb lameness were evaluated. In all horses lameness was improved by intraarticular analgesia of the joint, or by perineural analgesia of the palmar/plantar (at the junction of the proximal 3/4 and the distal 1/4 of the metacarpal/metatarsal regions) and palmar/plantar metacarpal/metatarsal nerves. All images were assessed subjectively and a quantitative image analysis was performed by drawing a vertical line profile through the center of each joint in the lateral images and using region of interest analysis in both lateral and dorsal/plantar images. Ratios of radiopharmaceutical uptake were compared for each region between lame and contralateral limbs in unilaterally lame horses and between lame and control horses. There was a significant difference in the ratio of radiopharmaceutical uptake in the proximal aspect of the proximal phalanx between lame and nonlame forelimbs in unilaterally lame horses and in both lame and contralateral limbs of lame horses compared with control horses for the regions of the distal aspect of the third metacarpal/metatarsal bone and the proximal sesamoid bones. However, the profile analysis was of limited clinical value.
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Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound