02142-A: Development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Non-Invasive Tool to Accurately Evaluate Elbow Dysplasia

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,398.4
Samuel Patrick Franklin, DVM, PhD; University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc
August 1, 2014 - August 31, 2015

Sponsor(s): Chow Chow Club, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
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Canine elbow dysplasia (CED) is a common problem with numerous different forms of varying nature and severity. Currently, radiographs (X-rays), computed tomography (CT; CAT scan), and arthroscopic surgery are used to make a diagnosis of elbow dysplasia and to characterize the degree of joint damage that a dog has suffered as a result of having CED. Unfortunately, neither radiographs nor CT provides evaluation of the cartilage in the joint. Rather, surgery has to be performed, either standard or arthroscopic, to visualize the cartilage before a thorough appreciation of the joint abnormalities can be obtained. As a result, definitive treatment plans cannot be established until after surgical assessment of the joint is performed. This stands in contrast to human medicine in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to assess cartilage non-invasively in order to make diagnoses and direct treatments prior to surgery. Theoretically MRI could similarly be used in veterinary medicine to more thoroughly evaluate cartilage health in the canine elbow, thus enabling determination of a treatment plan before surgery is performed. Likewise, MRI might be used to assess the response to different treatments and progression of disease. Working in collaboration with human radiologists, Dr. Franklin will perform MRI in dogs with elbow dysplasia using novel quantitative MRI protocols to determine whether MRI can be used for complete characterization of the nature and severity of joint damage in dogs with elbow dysplasia. Ultimately, accurate disease phenotyping will facilitate the treatment of patients, the development of novel therapeutics, and the prevention of disease through informed breeding programs.


Franklin, S. P., Burke, E. E., & Holmes, S. P. (2017). Utility of MRI for Characterizing Articular Cartilage Pathology in Dogs with Medial Coronoid Process Disease. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2017.00025

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