Contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the foot in horses using intravenous versus regional intraarterial injection of gadolinium
The use of contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the detection of orthopedic pathologies in equine patients is poorly described. In few studies, enhanced MRI allowed to differentiate active lesions from chronic ones and to classify ambiguous lesions. The aim of this clinical prospective pilot study is to describe and compare the MRI lesions observed in horses with lameness localized to the foot using a single intravenous bolus dose of gadolinium contrast versus regional intraarterial bolus of contrast agent. Ten horses that underwent contrast enhanced MRI were included in the study. Gadolinium was injected intravenously in 3 patients and in 7 horses contrast agent was administered by intraarterial regional delivery. Regions of interest (ROI) were collected from both pre- and post-contrast images and ratios between pre- and post-contrast ROIs were calculated. No adverse reactions were noted after contrast agent injection. Injured structures that revealed greater increase in signal in post-contrast images were the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), the navicular spongiosa and the peritendinous tissues. Regional intraarterial administration of gadolinium provided higher ratio of contrast enhancement. Enhanced MRI using both intravenous or intraarterial injection of gadolinium, increased the diagnostic capability of MRI in horses with foot lesions. Nevertheless, regional intraarterial administration of gadolinium was considered the best choice due to the higher signal and lower volumes of contrast agent required.
Keywords: Contrast Agent, Equine, Lameness, MRI, Orthopedic