Computed tomographic measurements of the femoral trochlea in dogs with and without medial patellar luxation

Authors: 
Federico Longo, Parastoo Memarian, Sebastian Christoph Knell, Barbara Contiero, Antonio Pozzi
Vet Surg. 2022 Oct 5. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13903.

Objectives: To determine cutoff values in small (SB) and medium/large (MLB) breed dogs with and without medial patellar luxation (MPL) for identifying abnormal femoral trochlea morphology.

Study design: Original research.

Animals: A total of 80 computed tomographic (CT) scans from client-owned dogs METHODS: Four groups of 20 dogs were created: (1) control SB, (2) control MLB, (3) MPL-SB, and (4) MPL-MLB. Two authors measured the femoral trochlear groove angle (FTGA), femoral trochlear angle (FTA), and femoral trochlear ridge inclination angle (FTRIA) in two points with CT. ANOVA and ROC-analysis were tested to the control and MPL groups to assess sensitivity, specificity, and cutoff values. Statistical significance was set to p < .05. Intraclass correlation coefficients evaluated the inter-rater agreement.

Results: FTGA (± SD) in control SB (128.8° ± 4.7°) and control MLB (119.2° ± 5.6°), was smaller (p < .0001) than in MPL-SB (139.4° ± 4.4°) and MPL-MLB (133.7° ± 5.1°). FTA and FTRIA were decreased (p = .12, p = .23) in MPL-SB (2.1° ± 6.8; -0.3° ± 3.3°) and MPL-MLB (3.8° ± 5.6°; 1.7° ± 4.5°) compared to control SB (0.2° ±4.1; -0.1° ± 2.6°) and control MLB (5.3° ± 2.8°; 3.1° ± 1.3°). Cutoff values for FTGA, FTA, and FTRIA were > 134°, < -5.9°, < -2 ° (SB), and > 128.3°, < -0.4°, < -0.4° (MLB). Sensitivity, specificity, and inter-rater agreement were superior for FTGA than FTA and FTRIA.

Conclusions: Dogs without MPL had a deeper femoral trochlear groove than MPL dogs. SB had a shallower groove than MLB. The measurement of FTA and FTRIA was not reliable.

Clinical relevance: A FTGA <134° (SB) and < 128° (MLB) may be considered as a cutoff for trochleoplasty decision-making.