Magnetic resonance imaging of normal canine carpal ligaments

Nordberg CC, Johnson KA. 

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999;40:128-136.

Magnetic resonance imaging was conducted on previously frozen left carpi from six normal dogs using a 1.5 Tesla magnet in combination with a transmit/receive wrist coil. Three-millimeter thick T1-weighted spin-echo images and 1-mm thick T2*-weighted gradient-recalled 3-D images were obtained in dorsal and sagittal planes. Carpi were embedded, sectioned, and stained. Anatomic structures on the histologic sections were correlated with the MR images. All of the carpal ligaments plus the radioulnar articular disc and the palmar fibrocartilage were identified on MR images. The accessorio-quartile ligament, which had not been well described previously in dogs, was also identified. It originated on the accessory carpal bone and inserted on the fourth carpal bone. The T2*-weighted gradient echo imaging technique provided better images than T1-weighted technique, largely because thinner slices were possible (1 mm vs. 3 mm), resulting in less volume averaging of thin ligaments with surrounding structures. Although MRI is currently the imaging modality of choice to identify ligamentous injury in humans, further studies are needed to determine if abnormalities can be detected in canine carpal ligaments using MRI.