Objective - To characterize the computed tomographic (CT) and cross-sectional anatomic features of myofascial compartments and soft tissue spaces in the manus of cadavers of dogs without forelimb disease. Animals - 33 cadavers of adult medium- to large-breed dogs without forelimb disease. Procedures - Forelimbs were removed from the cadavers within 4 hours after euthanasia or within 6 hours after thawing from initial freezing. Specimens were then frozen for variable periods and thawed for approximately 16 hours before use. Each manus of 60 forelimbs underwent CT before and after injection of a radiopaque, blue-staining contrast medium into locations where soft tissue spaces and myofascial compartments were predicted (on the basis of pilot study data [6 forelimbs]). Two veterinary radiologists reviewed CT images and recorded the presence or absence of a discrete space or compartment at each injection site. Each manus was subsequently dissected or sectioned transversely. Locations of blue-staining contrast medium accumulation were compared with locations of contrast enhancement in CT images. Anatomic structures within each soft tissue space or myofascial compartment were described. Results - 13 soft tissue spaces and 5 myofascial compartments were identified in the manus. Three myofascial structures that were examined were determined not to be compartments. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Knowledge of soft tissue spaces and myofascial compartments are used to map the likely spread of disease in the hands and feet of humans. Thus, understanding the locations and extent of similar structures in the canine manus may improve the effectiveness of surgical interventions in dogs with injury or inflammation of this region of the forelimb.
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