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Magnetic Resonance Anatomy of the Proximal Metacarpal Region of the Horse Described from Images Acquired from Low- and High-Field Magnets

Nagy A. and Dyson S.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2009. 50(6): p.595-605.

While low-field magnetic resonance (MR) images can provide useful information in the investigation of proximal metacarpal region pain, an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and comparison with more detailed high-field images are essential to understand the meaning of different signal intensities within tissues. This anatomic description is based on low-field and high-field MR examination of 30 cadaver metacarpal regions of mature horses with no history of carpal or proximal metacarpal pain. Normal MR anatomy is described and is illustrated by high-field and low-field MR images in transverse, sagittal and dorsal planes. Normal anatomic variations of soft tissue and osseous structures are discussed. Differences between the signal intensity and definition of tissues on high-field and low-field MR images and in different pulse sequences are highlighted. Several structures could be evaluated in both high-field and low-field images that cannot easily be imaged using radiography and ultrasonography, including the abaxial margins of the suspensory ligament, the interosseous ligaments between the metacarpal bones and the carpometacarpal ligaments. Structures that have previously not been described in detail were also identified.