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Abnormalities found in bone scan imaging are characteristically visualized by increased concentration of radiopharmaceutical commonly called a "hot spot".  Absence of localization of isotope is referred to as photopenic or a "cold spot". This finding is rare in equine bone scans but if encountered, usually is associated with a space occupying lesion.  The sensitivity and specificity of a bone scan is determined by correlating the bone scan with other clinical findings.  Sensitivity refers to the number of positive studies divided by the number of patients with proven disease.  Specificity is the number of true negative studies divided by the number of patients without disease.   Bone scans tend to be highly sensitive and generally non-specific. The following images demonstrate the typical appearance of the following pathologies.


Abscess P-III Enostosis Osseous cyst P-III
Avascular necrosis    
Avulsion hind suspensory Femoralpatellar joint P-III fractures
Avulsion front suspensory Femur fracture Pedal osteitis
Avulsion of gastrocnemius   Pelvis fractures
Articular fracture P-II    
Advanced osteoarthritis   Rhabdomyolysis
  Humeral stress fractures Ringbone
  Infectious arthritis Skull
Bicipital bursa Infected   Supraglenoid tubercle fx
Bucked shins Lateral condylar fracture Sustentaculum tali
  Laminitis Suspensory lig. breakdown
Coccyx Medial femoral cyst Subchondral bone remodel

Cervical spine

Calcinosis circumscripta Navicular disease Thoracic & lumbar spine
    Talus fracture
Degenerative joint disease   Tibial fractures
Deltoid tuberosity Osteoarthritis Third tarsal bone slab fx
Dorsal frontal fx P-I Osteomyelitis Third carpal bone
Dorsal cortical fx Mc-III OCD  




Copyright 2001 University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael W. Ross
Technologist: Vivian S. Stacy CNMT
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