Our Blogs

CT – Computed Tomography

November 23, 2022

Equine veterinary hospital Comments Off on Standing tieback surgery for ‘roarers’




What is CT?

  • The CT moves 360 degrees around the region of interest, taking multiple x-rays at various angles
  • The images are then reconstructed to create a 3D image of an individual structure.


When is CT used?

  • Gold standard for bone changes (especially subtle bone changes)
  • Bone chips and fracture lines
  • Penetrating injuries, especially to the foot
  • Surgical planning of fracture repairs
  • Areas of complex anatomy (skull, sinuses, dentition, hyoid).


What are the benefits?

  • No superimposition as with 2d x-rays – can reformat images in alternate cross-sectional planes/3D
  • Very quick acquisition time, however preparation and positioning of the patient takes time.


What is the procedure?

  • Full lameness evaluation to localise the region of lameness
  • For standing CT, a catheter is generally placed to maintain sedation throughout
  • Some CTs require a general anaesthetic


What are the limitations?

  • Restricted to limbs, head and neck depending on the size of the patient and the CT bore
  • MRI is still gold standard for soft tissue injuries. However, contrast agents can be used to highlight some soft tissue injuries
  • Cost
  • Availability


What are the risks?

  • Minimal risk for standing CT
  • Recovery from GA for a horse is always high risk
  • Radiation safety applies in the same way as taking x-rays – handlers must wear a lead gown, thyroid collar and dosimeter.  Ideally, a lead shield is placed between the handler and the patient.


Reconstructed 3D image of the hoof


Share Button


Share Button


Leave a Reply