Effect of limb rotation on measurements of equine metacarpophalangeal radiographs

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Anatomy, Histolgy and Emberyology department, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya

2 Surgery and Theriogenology, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya

3 Anatomy, Histology and Emberyology, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya

4 The Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia


Objective: Metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) radiographic parameters were developed to evaluate MCPJ conformation of equine forelimbs, but the effect of joint rotation during radiography on these parameters has not been reported. The current study examined the effect of the rotation around the vertical axis of MCPJ on 27 MCPJ parameters (12 angles and 15 ratios) and identified the acceptable range of rotation at which minimal amount of changes occurred in these parameters.
Design: Descriptive study
Animals: MCPJs of seven right forelimbs from seven different horses with no MCPJ abnormalities.
Procedures: MCPJs of seven right equine forelimbs were loaded in a load cell to obtain the normal MCPJ angle. They were frozen at −20C° and then scanned using a CT-scan machine. The collected slices were reconstructed to obtain a 3D model of MCPJs, and the dorsopalmar view at zero angle (ZDP) were identified. The view was then rotated around the vertical axis of MCPJ. Snapshots were taken for MCPJ at −10°, −5°, Zero, +5° and +10° angles. All the parameters were measured on the total 35 radiographs and statistically analysed. Differences were estimated per 5° of MCPJ rotation for all the parameters.
Results:Generally, the ratio parameters were less affected than the angular parameters during MCPJ rotation.
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Rotational angles of vertical ±10° from ZDP were considered as an acceptable range for reliable radiographic measurements of MCPJ parameters.


Main Subjects