Peterson PR, Bowman KF.
X-ray computed tomography (CT) is an imaging tool that is becoming increasingly available for use in veterinary medicine. Advantages, including depiction of detailed cross-sectional anatomy, improved contrast resolution, and computer reformatting, make it a potentially valuable diagnostic technique. Veterinary application of CT has been primarily limited to use in small animals. Current reports describe the technique for use in the horse, but there are no published studies correlating serial CT images with equine cross-sectional anatomy. A study of the distal extremity of the horse was undertaken to facilitate interpretation of images produced using CT. Transverse CT images of the distal forelimb of equine cadavers were evaluated relative to gross anatomic dissection. Resolution of bone architecture in transverse plane images was satisfactory, but soft-tissue’ resolution, although satisfactory for visualization of major structures, was relatively poor, probably due to lack of interposed fat and insufficient differences in physical density and atomic number. Thus it appears in the equine distal limb that CT may be most useful for evaluation of complex bone abnormalities.