VALIDATION OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is commonly used in the diagnosis of equine musculoskeletal injury. By using a 1.5 Tesla high field magnet we have conclusively demonstrated that MRI is an excellent tool for diagnosis of abnormalities within the tissues in the foot, pastern, fetlock and carpus of the horse. MRI is now considered the gold standard diagnostic tool for the evaluation of many causes of lameness in horses. We have also validated the use of Standing MRI by using a 0.27 Tesla low field standing MRI system using similar methods as those used when validating the high-field system. We have been world pioneers in leading research to validate this technique, demonstrating that in clinically normal horses, although low grade changes can be seen within the foot, in lame horses lesions are consistently more severe. We have verified that the lesions that can be seen fit very well with post mortem findings. We are gaining further information about the different disease processes that influence the navicular bone. We have ongoing projects trying to understand better why some of the injuries occur.