Why is it so useful to be able to do standing MRI scans?
Hallmarq manufactures the only MRI system that allows scans of the equine foot and lower limb to be done in a standing position without general anaesthesia. This unique ability has come about as the result of years of research and development.
But why is this an advantage?
Firstly and most importantly, a large published study into anaesthetic deaths in horses1 concluded that there is a 1% risk of death from anaesthesia in healthy horses. This means that with other MRI systems -where your horse must be anaesthetised- there is a small but significant risk to his or her life.
This risk is of course multiplied if follow-up MRI scans are required.
While it is necessary to sedate the horse for a standing MRI in order to ensure no movement and good image quality, the procedure is quicker than when full anaesthesia is required resulting in safer more cost-effective scans.
A recent study at the Animal Health trust comparing results using the Hallmarq standing MRI system and a ‘high field’ anaesthetised system concluded that there was no difference in diagnostic ability2 .
1 Johnston G.M., Taylor P.M., Holmes M.A. and Wood J.L.N. (1995) Confidential enquiry of peri-operative equine fatalities (CEPEF): preliminary results. Equine vet J 27 193-200R
2C. Murray, T. S. Mair, C. E. Sherlock and A. S. Blunden (2009) Comparison of high‐field and low‐field magnetic resonance images of cadaver limbs of horses, Veterinary Record 165, 281-288