Cone-beam computed tomography of the head in standing equids.

Klopfenstein Bregger, Micaël David; Koch, Christoph; Zimmermann, R; Sangiorgio, D; Schweizer-Gorgas, D. (2019). Cone-beam computed tomography of the head in standing equids. BMC veterinary research, 15(1), p. 289. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-019-2045-z

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Computed tomography in standing horses has revolutionized diagnostic imaging. The O-arm®, a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner with a gantry opening of 96.5 cm is routinely used for image-guided spine and neurosurgery in humans. The aim of this study is to describe the set-up and first experiences using the O-arm® to achieve CBCT imaging of the head in standing horses. CT imaging of the predefined region of interest (ROI) was tested on 2 cadaveric heads, concentrating on centering issues within the gantry, as well as determining the number of scans needed per ROI. All horses presented with head-related diseases and subjected to a CBCT examination between February 2015 and November 2016 for CBCT were included. Per scan, a limited field of view, i.e. a cylindrical volume of 21 cm in diameter and 16 cm in height was acquired within 13 s. Depending on the dimensions of the ROI, the minimum number of scans could range from one to six, if the entire equine head is to be examined in an adult horse.


Sixty-eight horses were included, five of which had a follow-up CBCT exam, and two of which were presented twice for two different indications (75 clinical cases). A total number of 449 acquired three-dimensional (3D) scans were recorded for these 75 cases. Two-hundred and forty-two 3D scans (54%) were considered as diagnostic quality. The imaging procedure was generally well tolerated by the sedated, standing equid, and diagnostic studies were performed in 73 out of 75 cases (97.3%). Motion artefacts and inadequate centering of the ROI were the most common reasons for non-diagnostic quality images and repeat scans of the same ROI.


CBCT is a valuable imaging modality for the equine head. Advantages of the O-arm® compared to a conventional multi-slice helical CT for imaging of the head in standing equids include the rapid image acquisition, the gantry's mobility in all dimensions, and the free movability of the entire imaging unit. Disadvantages include the considerable sensitivity to motion artefact, increased scatter, low soft tissue contrast and the limited dimensions of the field of view.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Clinical Radiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > ISME Equine Clinic Bern > ISME Equine Clinic, Internal medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Klopfenstein Bregger, Micaël David; Koch, Christoph and Schweizer, Daniela Esther


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




BioMed Central




Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2019 15:25

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Cone beam computed tomography Head Horse O-arm® Standing




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