Spriet M, Wisner ER, Anthenill LA, et al.
Seven isolated equine front limbs were used to establish the normal T1 relaxation time of equine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT), deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT), and suspensory ligament (SL) using magic angle magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. MR imaging of the metacarpi was performed with the limbs positioned at 55° (the magic angle) relative to the main magnetic field. Transverse spin-echo proton density and inversion recovery images were acquired. T1 relaxation time was calculated based on ratios of signal intensity determined from the different pulse sequences. T1 relaxation times for SDFT, DDFT, and SL were 288 (±17), 244 (±14), and 349 (±16) ms, respectively. The difference in T1 values between SDFT, DDFT, and SL was statistically significant. T1 values of equine tendons can be determined with magic angle imaging on a clinical MR system using <10 min total scan time. The knowledge of the normal range of T1 values may be useful to identify horses with chronic tendinopathy, where based on the human literature, an increased T1 value may be expected.