Many studies have described the normal and pathologic ultrasonographic appearance of the musculoskeletal system in cattle. However, these previous studies present few images and descriptions of the aspect of this system in calves. The aim of this anatomic study was to describe the normal ultrasonographic examination of the forelimb joints in 1-to 2-month-old Holstein calves, as well as to present the techniques used to acquire the images. The joint regions of the forelimbs of four cadaver calves were studied. Six forelimbs were evaluated by ultrasonography using a 13.0MHz linear transducer. The images acquired were compared with those acquired with other imaging techniques (six forelimbs were x-rayed, three forelimbs were scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) and compared with anatomical pieces (one forelimb was dissected, four forelimbs were frozen and sectioned for frozen slides) to finally label the different structures visualized on ultrasonographic pictures. The soft tissues, cartilaginous structures and bone surfaces showed similar echogenicity to what has been previously described. All the anatomical structures were successfully imaged and identified except for the vascular structures due to the post-mortem aspect of the study. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to provide an exhaustive description of the normal appearance of forelimb joints of the Holstein calf using multi-modal imaging techniques. The purpose of this study was to provide a reference when determining the presence of pathological joint disease of the forelimbs of calves.
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