Veterinary medicine

Equine MRI (MRI of a horse)
Carmen Lobitz
Veterinary medicine
© C. Rohde

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The world has heard about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning as a diagnostic tool for human diseases, but it is also very common in horse veterinarian clinics. When a ‧horse goes lame, or it has other pathologic orthopedic conditions, an MRI is a versatile and efficient method.

What kinds of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are available?

There are some Equine-MRI-Companies within Germany and also worldwide, and you can get either an upright standing MRI (0.27 Tesla) or a recumbent, lying-down MRI (1.5 Tesla). Both of them have advantages and disadvantages; the choice depends on the examination goal/s and the horse owner.

When to consider a standing MRI?

Most MRI units only allow imaging of the hock, or knee down. Given that with a recumbant MRI, the horse has to get a general anaesthetic and this can be – in some cases (1 : 100) be lethal for the

500 kg patient – it is seldom used. For this reason, the worried horse owner often doesn’t choose a recumbant MRI, when just the feet or pasterns have to be examined. Therefore, the method of choice is the standing…

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