To document the relationship between radiographic measurements of the equine foot and the presence of lesions in the foot on MRI. We hypothesised that different radiographic measurements would be associated with specific lesions detected by MRI.
REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: There are few studies on the correlations between radiographic measurements of the foot and abnormalities of specific structures found with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
OBJECTIVES: To document the relationship between radiographic measurements of the equine foot and the presence of lesions in the foot on MRI. We hypothesised that different radiographic measurements would be associated with specific lesions detected by MRI.
STUDY DESIGN Retrospective analysis of radiographs and MRI studies.
METHODS: Seventy-four feet from 52 lame horses were included Twenty parameters were measured on radiographs and signal intensity, homogeneity, and size of each structure in the foot were evaluated on magnetic resonance images. The data were analysed using simple linear correlation analysis and classification and regression trees (CARTs).
RESULTS: Linear correlations were found between the navicular bone (NB) compacta thickness and injuries of deep digital flexor tendon, collateral sesamoidean ligament, navicular spongiosa, and NB proximal border. Long-toed horses had a high incidence of lesions involving the spongiosa and proximal border of the navicular bone. Elongation of the navicular bone was associated with proximal and distal border injuries. A reduced palmar angle and increased angle between the middle and distal phalanx were observed in horses with alterations of collateral ligaments (CLs) of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) and navicular bone spongiosa, respectively. For each structure under investigation, CARTs predicting the presence of MRI pathology based on radiographic measurements had excellent performance, with >80% correct classification of cases, when using one of 3 data sources.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated a relationship between radiographic measurements of the foot and the presence of lesions detected on MRI, while CARTs illustrated that different radiographic measurements were associated with different MRI lesions.