Imaging basilar skull fractures in the horse: a review

Ramirez O, 3rd, Jorgensen JS, Thrall DE.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1998;39:391-395.

Due to the complex nature of the anatomy of the equine head, superimposition of numerous structures, and poor soft tissue differentiation, radiography may be of limited value in the diagnosis of basilar skull fractures. However, in many horses radiographic changes such as soft tissue opacification of the guttural pouch region, irregular bone margination at the sphenooccipital line, attenuation of the nasopharynx, ventral displacement of the dorsal pharyngeal wall and the presence of irregularly shaped bone fragments in the region of the guttural pouches are suggestive of a fracture of the skull base. These findings in conjunction with physical examination findings and historical information may lead to a presumptive diagnosis of a fracture. When available and when the patient will accommodate the equipment, computed tomography may give a definitive diagnosis owing to its superior resolution and differentiation of soft tissue structures.