A Review Of Equine Renal Imaging Techniques

Matthews HK, Toal RL.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 1996;37:163-173.

Radiography has a limited role in the evaluation of the kidneys in foals and adult horses. Ultrasonography is the current method of choice for structural evaluation of the kidneys in horses as it provides additional information to standard serum chemistry and urinalysis evaluation. A variety of structural abnormalities have been identified in diseased equine kidneys with the use of ultrasound. Ultrasound guided renal biopsy is the preferred method for performing renal biopsy in the horse. The use of Duplex Doppler ultrasound may allow for the characterization of regional hemodynamics of the equine kidneys, but is currently an untapped method for evaluation of equine renal hemodynamics. Radionuclide methods including scintigraphy and quantitative renal function measurement can be used to provide further information about equine renal function. Scintigraphy can provide structural and possibly functional information. Quantitative methods using radiopharmaceuticals can provide precise measurement of glomerular filtration rate and effective renal blood flow. This method is especially helpful in identifying acute renal failure and in guiding response to treatment. All equine renal imaging techniques should be a supplement to the physical examination and standard laboratory tests. Additional diagnostic aids such as urinary tract endoscopy should also be considered in horses with hematuria, hydroureter, and suspected calculi. Taken together, all these modalities provide a through evaluation of the equine renal system and provide a basis for the clinician to select treatment options and provide prognostic information to the owner.