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QUANTITATIVE ULTRASONOGRAPHIC EVALUATION AND ELASTOGRAPHY OF FLEXOR TENDONS IN ATHLETIC HORSES

Grant number: 23/06471-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Clinics and Surgery
Principal Investigator:José Corrêa de Lacerda Neto
Grantee:Angélica Cristina Titotto
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Tendonopathies of the thoracic limbs are among the most common conditions in equine sports medicine, causing a decrease in performance in athletic horses and affecting their well-being. In severe cases, they can lead to the early retirement of these animals. For these reasons, improving non-invasive methods of tendon evaluation becomes essential, enhancing the ability to identify and monitor injuries. To reduce subjectivity in B-mode ultrasound evaluations of tendons, it is possible to utilize parameters of spatial frequency derived from two-dimensional Fourier analysis, as well as elastograms capable of predicting the elasticity of specific tissues. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the superficial and deep flexor tendons of Quarter Horses and Brazilian Show Jumping horses, highlighting the differences found in Fourier analysis and elastograms among breeds, sexes, right and left limbs, age groups, types of sports performed, and the presence or absence of tendinitis. Animals from the aforementioned breeds, belonging to equestrian-oriented studs, will be used, with each animal's sex, age, sporting career, and medical history recorded. The metacarpal region will be measured and divided into seven quadrants for obtaining transverse images, and three quadrants for obtaining elastograms and longitudinal B-mode images, which will be utilized for two-dimensional Fourier analysis. The images will be analyzed using ImageJ software, and the results, after undergoing appropriate statistical tests, will be presented in the form of tables and figures.

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