Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC), in Leesburg, has obtained a new high-definition computed tomography (CT) scanner to allow enhanced imaging capabilities for equine patients.

The Pegaso High-Definition CT, which is the first of its kind on the East Coast, allows veterinarians and staff at the center to perform high-definition CT scans on horses while standing or recumbent (lying down).

“We are very excited to offer this advanced technology for safer and clearer diagnoses of our equine patients,” said Mike Erskine, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, EMC director. The EMC is a part of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.

When a patient undergoes a CT scan, multiple X rays are taken at different angles to produce cross-sectional images, allowing a clinician to see inside the body. The new imaging technology provides 3-D images at resolutions several orders of magnitude higher than a conventional CT but with less radiation.

The purchase of the Pegaso scanner, which was created by Epica Medical Innovations, was made possible by a donation from the James Hale Steinman Foundation, as well as additional supporting gifts. There are only a handful of such scanners in use in the world, with others in Germany, Scotland, Colorado, and California.

The new technology enables CT scans to be performed on the head and neck of horses while standing and the distal limbs, stifle, and the C7 to T1 vertebrae while recumbent.

“From my perspective, two aspects of this technology will be incredibly rewarding: the ability to image the stifle in three dimensions and the ability to