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Characterization of the Magic Angle Effect in the Equine Deep Digital Flexor Tendon Using a Low-Field Magnetic Resonance System

Mathieu Spriet A.M.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2009. 50(1): p.32-36.

Three isolated equine limbs were imaged with a low-field magnetic resonance system with a vertical magnetic field. Each limb was scanned in multiple positions with mild variation of the angle between the magnetic field and the long axis of the limb. When the long axis of the limb was not perpendicular to the magnetic field, a linear hyperintense signal was present at the palmar aspect of one of the deep digital flexor tendon lobes, at the level of the navicular bone and collateral sesamoidean ligaments, in proton density and T1-weighted pulse sequences. With increased angulation of the limb, the palmar hyperintense signal extended farther distally and proximally and additional signal hyperintensity was present at the dorsal aspect of the distal part of the other lobe of the deep digital flexor tendon. Increased signal intensity was also present in the collateral ligament of the distal interphalangeal joint on the same side as the palmar hyperintense signal in the tendon. The changes in the deep digital flexor tendon are due to the specific orientation of fibers at the palmar and dorsal aspect of the tendon, which is responsible for focal manifestation of the magic angle effect. Careful positioning of the limb perpendicular to the magnetic field can prevent this phenomenon. The association of palmar increased signal intensity in the deep digital flexor tendon with increased signal in the collateral ligament of the distal interphalangeal joint on the same side should be recognized as manifestations of the magic angle effect.