Radiography And Computed Tomography In The Diagnosis Of Nonneoplastic Equine Mandibular Disease

Huggons NA, Bell RJW, Puchalski SM.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2011;52:53-60.

We compared the information gained from computed tomography (CT) vs. radiography in horses with nonneoplastic disease of the mandible. We hypothesized that CT would provide additional diagnostic information. Medical records, radiographs, and CT images of horses with nonneoplastic mandibular disease evaluated between 1994 and 2008 were reviewed. Nineteen horses were identified; 11 had a tooth root abscess and related disease, four had a fracture of the teeth and/or mandible, and four had a nonneoplastic mass. Both CT images and radiographs allowed identification of diseased teeth that appeared clinically normal otherwise. CT allowed identification of teeth that were clinically affected but appeared normal radiographically. Parameters such as tooth pulp involvement, lamina dura destruction, presence of bone fragments, lingual and buccal mandibular bone periosteal reaction, and cortical bone destruction were more conspicuous with CT. Performing radiography and CT in horses with nonneoplastic mandibular disease provides a more complete evaluation than either technique alone. CT contributes additional information that could otherwise be overlooked with radiographs alone in horses with a mandibular fracture. CT provides ancillary information to radiographs in horses with dental infection or a nonneoplastic mass of the mandible.