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Patterson Veterinary MRI is a partnership created in 2007 including Dr. Herbert Burns of Pine Bush Equine, Dr. Ronald Gaeta of Dunbarton Equine, Dr. Christopher Miller of Miller and Associates and New England Equine Practice P.C.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is primarily used to view the structure and function of the body, providing detailed images of both bone and soft tissue. MRI’s are especially useful in the diagnosis of neurological conditions and musculoskeletal disorders. Many horses referred for MRI have shown minimal abnormalities using radiography or ultrasonography.

Our open MRI gives us the ability to image limbs from the carpus and tarsus distally to the foot, as well as the head and proximal cervical spine. Our facility allows us to perform many surgical procedures immediately following the MRI without recovering and re-anesthetizing the horse. Dr. Alexia McKnight (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology) is available for consultation.

The ability to visualize a fracture in three dimensions prior to repair is obviously an enormous advantage particularly in the multi-fragmented distal limb fractures commonly seen in the horse. Pre-surgical planning prior to internal fixation is more commonly accomplished utilizing CT images, but we have recently been evaluating the use of short MRI T1 weighted sequences to accomplish the same thing. We have been able to attain excellent three dimensional studies in less than four minutes of imaging time. It takes a little more than 10 minutes to transport the horse to and from the MRI room and position him. Since we no longer take the time to take pre-operative radiographs we potentially add only about ten more minutes to the anesthetic time. More accurate preoperative planning should translate into shorter surgical procedures and hopefully fewer post-op problems. Finally, since the MRI table doubles as the surgery table, there is often no need to reposition the horse for surgery following the completion of the MRI.

For more information please visit the Patterson Veterinary MRI website.

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