PET Scan: A New Diagnostic Imaging Option for Horses
Last year, researchers from the University of California (UC), Davis, performed the first-ever positron emission tomography (PET) scan on a horse. In human medicine, physicians use this technology to diagnose conditions ranging from cancer to brain damage to heart and bone problems. It had never been applied to horses for logistical reasons, but a recently developed portable scanner is changing that.
Mathieu Spriet, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVR, ECVDI, associate professor of surgical and radiological sciences at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, led a study to determine whether PET scans could be useful for diagnosing lower limb injuries in horses. He presented his team’s results at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.
How does this imaging modality work? Like with a scintigraphic scan, the veterinarian injects a small amount of radioactive tracer into the patient to obtain an
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