Tremolada G, Winter MD, Kim SE, et al.
OBJECTIVE: To validate use of stress MRI for evaluation of stifle joints of dogs with an intact or deficient cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL). SAMPLE: 10 cadaveric stifle joints from 10 dogs. PROCEDURES: A custom-made limb-holding device and a pulley system linked to a paw plate were used to apply axial compression across the stifle joint and induce cranial tibial translation with the joint in various degrees of flexion. By use of sagittal proton density-weighted MRI, CrCL-intact and deficient stifle joints were evaluated under conditions of loading stress simulating the tibial compression test or the cranial drawer test. Medial and lateral femorotibial subluxation following CrCL transection measured under a simulated tibial compression test and a cranial drawer test were compared. RESULTS: By use of tibial compression test MRI, the mean +/- SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 9.6 +/- 3.7 mm and 10 +/- 4.1 mm, respectively. By use of cranial drawer test MRI, the mean +/- SD cranial tibial translations in the medial and lateral compartments were 8.3 +/- 3.3 mm and 9.5 +/- 3.5 mm, respectively. No significant difference in femorotibial subluxation was found between stress MRI techniques. Femorotibial subluxation elicited by use of the cranial drawer test was greater in the lateral than in the medial compartment. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Both stress techniques induced stifle joint subluxation following CrCL transection that was measurable by use of MRI, suggesting that both methods may be further evaluated for clinical use.