Scintigraphic appearance of the dorsal cortex of the third metacarpus and third metatarsus in the horse

Schallberger SP, Doherr MG, Ueltschi G.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2004;45:352-356.

The lack of “standard uptake pattern” to refer to when interpreting scintigraphic images poses a problem to anyone working with skeletal scintigraphy. An article written by Koblik et al. stated that in the normal scintigraphic image of older horses, the dorsal cortex of the metacarpus and metatarsus is not identifiable, whereas it can be identified in younger horses. In this retrospective study we evaluated the association between the age of a horse and visibility of the dorsal cortex of the metacarpus and metatarsus. We found that dorsal cortical uptake can be seen in the normal adult horse. The population in the study consisted of 139 horses scanned under general anesthesia in lateral recumbency. Scintigraphic images of 202 limbs were examined visually and by using a profile image tool. In almost all limbs the dorsal cortex was identifiable (82%); only 7% of the dorsal cortices were not identifiable; and 11% of the scintigraphic images were not interpretable.