The utilisation of µ-computed tomography for the investigation of equine papilla/lamella-associated foot lameness

Paul, Emily K. (2016) The utilisation of µ-computed tomography for the investigation of equine papilla/lamella-associated foot lameness. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Equine foot lameness is a prevalent condition, with high welfare and economic impacts. As the most common cause for equine euthanasia, foot pathologies associated with the lamellae, termed ‘laminitis’, are of particular concern. Taking a novel, interdisciplinary approach, micro-computed tomography was utilised to investigate the full extent of the equine foot in order to gain insight on its structures in a normal state and information on the pathological changes associated with laminitis-like lesions.

Equine feet were collected from an abattoir and the blood vessels flushed with phosphate-buffered saline before pressurised perfusion with paraformaldehyde. Micro-computed tomography was performed on the whole feet and on sections cut from the coronet region in a laboratory scanner, and a region of interest scan of the dorsal coronet region was carried out on a whole foot at a synchrotron radiation source. The whole-foot tomographic images procured from the laboratory scanner were assessed for indicators of hoof deformity and chronic laminitis, and analyses of the bone and the vasculature were carried out. The synchrotron-sourced images were used to assess the viability of future research.

Positive dorsal hoof wall curvature was found to be a primary physical descriptor, correlating positively with rotation of the third phalanx. Changes in the structure and morphology of the bone, in terms of curvature, cortical thickness and trabecular pore enlargement, were observed alongside increasing curvature, and indicated that force rebalances within the foot occurred in conjunction with the capsular changes, and put the direction of causality between lamellar damage and pathomorphological changes such as the rotation of the third phalanx under question. Finally, the visibility of the vasculature and of important microstructures, such as the dermal papillae, showed the scope for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Rauch, Cyril
Rutland, Catrin S.
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Item ID: 32788
Depositing User: Paul, Emily
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 08:16

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