August 2016 - Open-Format Standing CT Scanner
Written by CRM
Sunday, 31 July 2016 17:50
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Revolutionary diagnostic equipment debuts back East but is expected on the West Coast soon.

Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, an affiliate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has acquired one of the world’s first open-format standing computed tomography (CT) scanners. The EQUIMAGINE™ system, developed by Four Dimensional Digital Imaging (4DDI), uses two or four computer-controlled robots to maneuver around the horse’s body. It produces three-dimensional, real-time images that permit equine surgeons to precisely evaluate the structure of the animal’s limbs, head, neck and in the near future, torso.

Dr. Thomas Yarbrough answers questions from reporters as the robotic scanners rotate around a patient’s head to capture a 3D image of the skull, teeth and sinuses.

A sedated patient stands quietly as the robotic scanners rotate around his head, capturing a 3D image of his skull, teeth and sinuses.

Yorgios Papaioannou, founder of the New York City-based 4DDI, says the EQUIMAGINE system is expected to show up at some West Coast facilities in the near future.

“The quality and resolution of the real-time images created with the 4DDI system far exceed those of existing technology,” says CRES Clinical Director Tom Yarbrough. “It represents a giant leap forward in our ability to detect problems at the earliest stages, when they are far easier and less expensive to address.”

Existing CT systems require that the horse be anesthetized and lying down. Horses scanned by the 4DDI system are sedated and standing, avoiding the risks associated with anesthesia and prolonged recumbency.
And while existing CTs are limited to the parts of the animal that fit into the cylindrical machines, the new system facilitates an unlimited range of motion and unencumbered access to the horse’s entire anatomy. Yarbrough says CRES is now working with 4DDI to integrate a treadmill with the system for motion analysis.

Located across the street from the stables at Belmont Park raceway, CRES provides specialized care for equine athletes—hunters, jumpers, dressage and racehorses—in sports that put heavy demands on the animals’ legs. The 4DDI system is proving a valuable tool for evaluating these patients, helping the veterinarians to identify stress fractures and bone density changes in the limbs that can predispose a horse to soundness issues.
CRES surgeons also will use the 4DDI system for preoperative planning and evaluation of complex fracture reconstructions during surgery; rapid evaluation of skull and sinus disease.

“Cornell’s veterinary college is a world-class institution, and its equine medicine staff are renowned for their innovative thinking as well as for their experience and expertise,” said 4DDI’s Papaioannou. “CRES is an ideal partner for us as we continue to expand the possibilities in veterinary imaging.”

Press release provided by Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists.