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Ultrasonographic variations are present in the distal sesamoidean impar ligament of clinically sound horses
- MacDonald, Jessica Lauren, Richter, Ruth‐Anne, Wimer, Christine L.
- Veterinary radiology & ultrasound 2018 v.59 no.5 pp. 607-612
- descriptive studies, diagnostic techniques, horses, lameness, ligaments, pain, ultrasonography
- Ultrasonography is an established diagnostic test for evaluating horses with foot pain due to suspected podotrochlear apparatus pathology. However, variations from the previously reported normal appearance of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament have not always coincided with lameness. The objective of this prospective, cross‐sectional, descriptive study was to characterize variations in the ultrasonographic appearance of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament in sound horses using the transcuneal approach. Transcuneal ultrasonography of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament was performed on sound horses, and images were evaluated for fiber pattern, echogenicity, and thickness. Varying echogenicities of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament compared to the deep digital flexor tendon were found. Hypoechogenic or hyperechogenic focal areas were noted in the mid‐body of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament or at its attachment to the navicular bone or the distal phalanx. In some of the sound horses, an anechoic linear area between the deep digital flexor tendon and distal sesamoidean impar ligament was observed as well as multifocal areas of hyperechogenicity or hypoechogenicity, irregular fiber pattern, and measurable thickening of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament. Several findings were bilaterally symmetrical, and no finding was always bilaterally symmetrical each time it was noted. This study supports transcuneal ultrasonography as an ancillary diagnostic tool for evaluating the equine distal sesamoidean impar ligament, describes sonographic variations in clinically sound horses, and suggests that the clinical significance of a lesion may not be determined by comparison of the distal sesamoidean impar ligament in the contralateral limb.