Image fusion of computed tomographic and magnetic resonance images for the development of a three-dimensional musculoskeletal model of the equine forelimb

Laura Zarucco, Erik R Wisner, Michael D. Swanstrom, Susan M Stover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Biomechanical models that compute the lengths and forces of muscle-tendon units are broadly applicable to the study of factors that promote injury and the planning and effects of orthopedic surgical procedures in equine athletes. A three-dimensional (3D) generic musculoskeletal model of the equine forelimb comprised of bony segment, muscle-tendon, and ligament information, was developed based on high-resolution computed tomographic (CT) and T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images from an isolated forelimb of a Thoroughbred racehorse. Image fusion was achieved through coregistration of CT and MR images with an image analysis program (Analyze™) by adjustment of the relative position and orientation of fiducial markers visible in both modalities until the mutual information between the images was maximized. 3D surfaces of the bones and origin/insertion sites, centroid paths and volumes of the muscle-tendon and ligamentous structures were obtained from the multimodal (CT/MR) images using semiautomated and manual segmentation combined with sagittal and transverse color-cryosection anatomic images obtained from three other cadaveric equine forelimbs. Once bony and soft-tissue structures were reconstructed in the same coordinate system, data were imported to a software package for interactive musculoskeletal modeling (SIMM®). The combination of integrated CT and MR acquisitions and anatomical images provided an accurate and efficient means of generating a 3D model of the musculoskeletal structures of an average-sized equine adult horse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-562
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2006



  • Computed tomography
  • Equine musculoskeletal model
  • Image fusion
  • Magnetic resonance (MR)
  • Multimodality registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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