A COMPARISON OF COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHIC, RADIOGRAPHIC, GROSS AND HISTOLOGICAL, DENTAL AND ALVEOLAR FINDINGS IN 30 ABNORMAL CHEEK TEETH FROM EQUINE CADAVERS

Tiziana Liuti, Sionagh Smith, Paddy Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Equine cheek teeth disorders, especially pulpar/apical infections, can have very serious consequences due to the frequent extension of infection to the supporting bones and/or adjacent paranasal sinuses. Limited studies have assessed the accuracy of computed tomographic (CT) imaging in the diagnosis of these disorders and no study has directly compared imaging and pathological findings of the alveoli of diseased equine cheek teeth.

Objective: To validate the accuracy of CT and radiographic imaging of cheek teeth disorders by comparing CT and radiographic imaging, gross and histological findings in abnormal cheek teeth and their alveoli extracted from equine cadaver heads.

Study Design: Ex-vivo original study

Methods: Fifty-four cadaver heads from horses with unknown histories that had died or been euthanized on humane grounds obtained from a rendering plant had radiography, CT imaging, and gross pathological examinations performed. Based on imaging and gross examination findings, 30 abnormal cheek teeth (26 maxillary and 4 mandibular) identified in 26 heads were extracted along with their dental alveoli where possible, and further CT imaging, gross and histological examinations were performed. Eight maxillary cheek teeth (including four with attached alveolar bone) from these heads, that were normal on gross and CT examinations, were used as controls.

Results: Gross pathological and histological examinations indicated that 28/30 teeth, including two supernumerary teeth, had pulpar/apical infection, including pulpar and apical changes. A further supernumerary and a dysplastic tooth were also identified. Abnormal calcified tissue architecture was present in all three supernumerary and in the dysplastic tooth. CT imaging strongly indicated the presence of pulpar/apical infection in 27 of the 28 (96.4%) pulpar/apically infected teeth, including the presence of intra-pulpar gas (N=19/28), apical clubbing (N=20), periapical halo (N=4), root lysis or fragmentation (N=7), periapical gas (N=2). Also present were alveolar bone sclerosis (N=20), alveolar bone thickening (N=3) and lytic/erosive changes (N=8). Radiographic abnormalities strongly indicative of pulpar/apical infection including periapical sclerosis (N=8/28) and apical clubbing (N=14/28) were found in 14/28 (50%) of apically infected teeth.

Histological changes were present in alveolar bone of all 21 cases of apical infection where alveolus remained attached to the tooth, and was marked in 16 cases, all which

had CT alveolar changes. Histological changes included disruption of the normal trabecular pattern, increased osteoclastic activity and the presence of islands of bone with a scalloped profile within the thickened attached periodontal ligament. No gross pathological or histological changes were present in the eight control teeth or their alveoli (N=4).

Main limitations: No history or breed-related information was available on these cases.

Conclusion: There was a 96.4% correlation between a CT diagnosis and confirmative pathological findings in 28 apically infected teeth confirming the accuracy of CT imaging in diagnosing equine pulpar/apical infections. There was also excellent correlation between CT and histological alveolar bone findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number236
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • equine dental imaging
  • equine computed tomography
  • equine pulpar/apical disease
  • equine dental pathology

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