Animal Health Trust to Install Standing MRI

The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, has announced that it will be acquiring a standing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit to expand its equine diagnostic capabilities.

“In 2000, a high-field MRI scanner was installed at th

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The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, has announced that it will be acquiring a standing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit to expand its equine diagnostic capabilities.


“In 2000, a high-field MRI scanner was installed at the Animal Health Trust, mainly for small animal use,” announced the Trust this week in its E-newsletter. “However, we saw the potential usefulness of MRI for imaging of the horse and it has truly revolutionized our knowledge of problems causing lameness. Through this technique, we continue to identify new conditions resulting in more successful treatments to alleviate suffering in horses.”


Representatives from the Trust report that the current high-field MRI system has some drawbacks, including the requirement that a horse be put under general anesthesia for a scan. They said, “General anesthesia in horses carries a small but significant risk of complications, sometimes serious, and it is preferable to avoid this where possible and carry out procedures in the standing animal under sedation. Secondly, although we can image from the foot to the knee or hock in most horses, we are limited to the foot and fetlock in smaller horses.”


The new lower-field unit will allow imaging in the standing, sedated horse. The Jean Coubrough Charitable Trust provided funding for construction of a dedicated Standing MRI Suite, which is currently in the commissioning phase

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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