Assessment of qualitative and quantitative parameters of healthy thyroid gland in adult horses by magnetic resonance imaging
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In humans and pets, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides important adjunctive anatomic information about the thyroid and its adjacent structures. To the best of our knowledge, however, no studies have been reported regarding the use of MRI for thyroid evaluation in horses. The aim of this study was to obtain qualitative and quantitative parameters of healthy thyroid gland in adult horses by MRI. Eleven horses were submitted to thyroid MRI evaluation. The healthy thyroid of these animals was ensured by normal examinations performed before (free thyroxine and ultrasound) and after (cytology) to MRI. It was concluded that the dorsal spin-echo T1-weighted, fast spin-echo T2-weighted, sagittal STIR and a three-dimensional T1-weighted gradient echo were the sequences that best characterized the thyroid lobes. Qualitatively, there was a significant variation in the elliptical format of some lobes considering the sagittal plane, which oscillated between rounded and flattened conformation. Excellent reproducibility of the quantitative thyroid parameters obtained was verified. The thyroid gland total volume mean of observers was 14.31 cm3 (±0.69). In relation with comparisons between quantitative parameters of left and right lobes, only differences regarding their respective lengths were observed. Thus, we can infer that the difference in some thyroid lobes format can be explained by the significant variation identified between left and right lobes lengths.
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