The Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center is pleased to announce the arrival of computed tomography (CT, or "cat scan") to their advanced diagnostic imaging arsenal. Mid-Atlantic is proud to be on the forefront of this technology, having acquired an updated version of the EQUIMAGINE robotics-controlled imaging system.
In doing so, Mid-Atlantic becomes the first privately owned equine hospital in the world to be offering this service to its clientele. The system will allow for detailed imaging of the skull, neck and distal limbs without the need to anesthetize the horse. In addition to CT, the system is also capable of performing other modalities such as fluoroscopy, tomosynthesis, and digital radiography, opening up whole new areas of diagnosis and treatment. The imaging team at Mid-Atlantic has spent the past 2 months working on perfecting the image acquisition and quality, with the results being exceptional images obtained in a matter of minutes.
With the more recent focus on racing safety and injury prevention, owners and trainers want to know if they can safely run the horses under their care. "Damage that precedes catastrophic failure or breakdown is detectable with CT, so we can accurately answer the question of whether to go on or to shut the horse down. This let's us race when it's safe, rest when it's not, and creates a safer racing environment in general" said Dr. Janik Gasiorowski, chief orthopedic surgeon at Mid-Atlantic Equine.
Orthopedic injuries are the bane of the equine athlete. In spite of its diagnostic utility, CT imaging has not yet gained mainstream acceptance in equine racing and sporting arenas primarily due to the need for general anesthesia. The EQUIMAGINE system eliminates the risk, time and cost of anesthesia. Images of exquisite detail can be acquired with the horse under light sedation, and more importantly in a weight bearing position. The images are then manipulated in 2 or 3 dimensions, sectioned and evaluated in all planes and reconstructed with or without soft tissue overlay, allowing us to diagnose injuries not visible on plain radiographs. In addition to its diagnostic capabilities, CT is tremendously useful in guiding complex fracture repair.
More accurate reconstruction, especially at the articular surface, translates to higher success rates and better outcomes for horses.