Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Equine-Specialist CT Scanner Creates a 3-D Hoof in Ninety Seconds

Behold a 3D, computed tomography (CT) image of an equine distal limb recently acquired at University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center by EQUUS One, a portable, battery-operated, equine-dedicated CT scanner. The image shows a defect in the right toe quarter of the third phalanx (P3 or coffin bone) created by a keratoma. (The defect is at about 7 o'clock viewing the image this way.) The horseshoe and nails create two bright stellate foci (a.k.a. "starburst" effects) in the hoof capsule and a bright rim around the distal aspect of the image. Double-click on the photo for a larger view. (PRNewsFoto/Universal Medical Systems, Inc.)

What's new in equine imaging? How about a battery-operated, portable CT scanner, ideal for imaging the hoof?

Midge Leitch VMD, clinician in Radiology at New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania, recently used "Equus One", as the new scanner is called, to perform a scan on an 11-year-old gelding.

Dr. Leitch explained, "This horse had been diagnosed with a keratoma, a benign tumor in his hoof. The CT was utilized to locate the area in the hoof wall through which the surgeons would access the keratoma while causing the least damage to the hoof capsule. In the past, this access point was determined either by measurements made on radiographs or by a location on the hoof wall determined by MRI; the former of these methods was subject to a margin of error and MRI required a longer time under anesthesia."

"Maneuvering large animals into correct positions with a standard CT is not only physically challenging for the veterinary staff, but more importantly requires moving the patient to the operating room following the scan, if surgery is the treatment of choice," she continued. "Now, we can bring the CT to the horse. And, in this particular case, the scan of the hoof took us about 90 seconds. With its unique portability, superior scan and low operating cost, Equus One is an ideal CT solution for any veterinary center."

The Equus One CT scanner is sold by Universal Medical Systems, Inc. of Ohio. In fairness to the product, it will surely be of great service in imaging many regions of the horse's body and limbs, not just the hoof.

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