Low-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging Appearance Of Postarthroscopic Magnetic Susceptibility Artifacts In Horses

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Thomas AL, Schramme MC, Lepage OM, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2016;57:587-593.

An awareness of magnetic susceptibility artifacts is important for interpreting prepurchase and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in horses. These artifacts occur when a metallic or a paramagnetic substance creates a local magnetic field deformity. Aims of the current experimental study were to determine prevalence of these artifacts after arthroscopy in a sample of nonlame horses, and to describe effects of time and type of pulse sequence on low-field MRI signal intensity and detection of the artifacts. Ten, nonlame Standardbred horses were prospectively recruited. All horses underwent arthroscopy of both metacarpophalangeal joints for purposes unrelated to the study. Serial low-Field MRI examinations were performed on each horse and each joint (before, and 6 and 12 weeks postsurgery). In two horses, more detailed longitudinal evaluations were performed with additional MRI examinations. Magnetic susceptibility artifacts were detected postoperatively at the surgical access sites in eight metacarpophalangeal joints at both 6 and 12 weeks after surgery (40% prevalence). Neither of the two longitudinally followed horses had artifacts at any time. Artifacts were only detected on gradient echo (GRE) sequences. Findings indicated that magnetic susceptibility artifacts can be present in postarthroscopy MRI studies in horses and can persist up to 12 weeks after arthroscopy. For this sample of horses, the artifacts did not interfere with evaluation of the joint. Further longitudinal studies are needed to determine the full duration of magnetic susceptibility artifact persistence in affected tissues.