Comparison Between Computed Tomographic Arthrography, Radiography, Ultrasonography, And Arthroscopy For The Diagnosis Of Femorotibial Joint Disease In Western Performance Horses

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Nelson BB, Kawcak CE, Goodrich LR, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2016;57:387-402.

The femorotibial joints are a common source of lameness in Western performance horses. The objective of this prospective study was to compare the radiography, ultrasonography, computed tomographic arthrography (CTA), and arthroscopy findings in horses with lameness localized to the femorotibial joints. Twenty-five stifles in 24 horses were included and were evaluated with all four of these diagnostic methods. Defects detected in femorotibial joint structures were compared between diagnostic methods using a McNemar’s test to evaluate for disagreement. Cranial medial meniscotibial desmopathy was most detected on arthroscopy (in 14/25 cases) and was only detected on ultrasonography in three out of 11 (27.3%) arthroscopically observed cases, but was detected on CTA in nine out of 12 (75%) arthroscopically observed cases. Medial meniscal injury located on the craniolateral border was most detected on arthroscopy (n = 9) and was detected on CTA in five cases, but on ultrasonography in 0 cases. Detection of articular cartilage defects on the medial femoral condyle was most detected with arthroscopy (24/25, 96% cases) and was also detected on CTA in 12/20 (60%) cases with a significant disagreement identified between modalities (P = 0.02). Cranial and caudal cruciate ligament defects were detected on CTA in 6/22 (27.3%) and 7/19 (36.8%) cases, respectively, and with arthroscopy in 3/25 (12%) and 2/25 (8%) cases, respectively. The use of CTA detected more defects in the cruciate ligaments, proximal tibia, and ligament entheses than the other diagnostic methods, but was not reliable for detection of articular cartilage damage on the medial femoral condyle.