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Ultrasound of the solar aspect of the phalanx distalis in horses
Ultrasonographic examinations are standard procedures also in equine medicine. Less is known about the use of this technique in a very special and very sensitive area of the equine limb, the phalanx distalis, especially its solar aspect. Does ultrasound give good and reliable informations compared with the standard X-rays?

Ultrasonographic examinations were performed on the solar aspect of the distal phalanx of 10 feet of five normal live horses (Group 1), 22 feet of seven normal cadavers (Group 2), and nine feet of five horses with pathology of the dorsal solar aspect of the distal phalanx (Group 3).

Lateromedial radiographs of the distal phalanx were made in all groups, and in Group 2, digits were sagitally sectioned after imaging.

The ultrasonographic and radiographic appearance of the sagittal solar aspect of the distal phalanx was described.

Measurements of the distance between the sole and the distal tip of the distal phalanx (A), the solar aspect of the apex of the frog and the distal phalanx (B), and the body of the frog`s surface and flexor surface of the distal sesamoid bone (C) were made ultrasonographically, radiographically, and on the sectioned cadaver specimens.

There was no statistical difference between the radiographic, ultrasonographic, and direct cadaver measurements in A and C. In B, there was a statistical difference between the radiographic, ultrasonographic, and cadaver measurementsmost likely as a result of the difference in trimming of the frog apex.

Ultrasonographic and radiographic examination of the nine feet of the five horses in Group 3 were performed and the abnormalities described. Color flow and power Doppler ultrasonography were performed on the normal sagittal solar distal phalanx, on the impar distal sesamoidean ligament, and at the insertion of the deep digital flexor tendon on the facies flexoria of the distal phalanx.
Power Doppler in these horses showed blood flow at 0.16-0.48 kHz at the tip of the distal phalanx and at 0.16 kHz at the deep digital flexor tendon insertion and in the impar distal sesamoidean ligament.

Using color flow Doppler in normal horses mean blood flows ranged from 1.8 to 5.4 cm/s at the tip of the distal phalanx and 1.8-2.0 cm/s at the deep digital flexor tendon insertion and in the impar distal sesamoidean ligament.

Source: Olivier-Carstens, Ann (2004): ULTRASONOGRAPHY OF THE SOLAR ASPECT OF THE DISTAL PHALANX IN THE HORSE. In: Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 45 (5), 449-457.






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EQUINE

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