The effects of extracorporeal shock-wave therapy on the ultrasonographic and histologic appearance of collagenase-induced equine forelimb suspensory ligament desmitis

S. R. McClure, D. VanSickle, R. Evans, E. L. Reinertson, L. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extracorporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT) may stimulate healing of desmitis in multiple species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ultrasonographic and histologic appearance of collagenase-induced suspensory ligament (SUL) desmitis in untreated ligaments and ligaments treated with ESWT in horses. Four mature horses had SUL desmitis induced in both forelimbs. Beginning 3 weeks after induction of the lesions, one ligament per horse was treated 3 times at 3-week intervals with ESWT. The percent lesion, echogenicity and fiber alignment scores of the SULs were evaluated at 3-week intervals for a total of 15 weeks. At the completion of the study, the horses were euthanized and the SULs collected, fixed and processed for histopathologic evaluation. Ultrasonography showed treated SULs had a smaller percent lesion at the maximal injury zone (p = 0.001), and the total percent lesion (p = 0.01), total fiber alignment score (p = 0.0167) and total echogenicity (p = 0.0023) were all smaller in the treated ligaments. The fiber alignment score and echogenicity were not statistically different at the maximal injury zone. The treated SULs had a more concentrated area of metachromasia associated with healing than the untreated ligaments, where metachromasia appeared more diffuse throughout the ligament. ESWT improved the rate of healing as assessed ultrasonographically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the USA Equestrian, Iowa State University. The shock-wave equipment was provided by High Medical Technologies.

Keywords

  • Extracorporeal shock-wave therapy
  • Horse
  • Suspensory ligament desmitis

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