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  • 1 Szent István University Clinic for Large Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Science H-2225 Üllő, Dóra major Hungary
  • 2 Semmelweis University 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Budapest Hungary
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In the first part of this methodological study eleven metacarpi of 9 skeletally normal horses were examined from 4 directions by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The differences between the dorsopalmar-palmarodorsal and lateromedial-mediolateral (opposite sites) bone mineral density (BMD) values were found to be nonsignificant. In the second part of the study the precision of the Norland XR-26 densitometer was tested by measuring 34 metacarpal bones and 34 proximal phalanges, each of them three times, from a single direction. The difference between the individual measurements of the first phalanges and of the metacarpal bones originating from the right or the left side of the same horse were not significant, nor did the age or breed have a significant effect on BMD or bone mineral content (BMC). However, both BMD and BMC are greater in the metacarpal bones than in the proximal phalanges and are higher in geldings than in mares or to stallions, while the BMD or BMC values of mares and stallions did not differ from each other significantly. These data point to the necessity of further BMD studies in a higher number of patients.

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