Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging adds Standing Equine Leg CT to advanced imaging portfolio

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging recently announced the addition of Standing Equine Leg CT (slCT) to its product range. This addition aims to help vets quickly and safely diagnose the cause of equine lameness and increase access to advanced imaging for all equine practices.

Hallmarq is introducing the new slCT following the success imaging horses in collaboration with their UK-based clinical trial site. Hallmarq Veterinary Imagine pioneered the development of standing MRI for horses and the new standing CT scanner uses a simple and safe design, with a low, flat platform to allow for easy entry and exit of the standing sedated horse.

The system uses a novel dual-concentric ring design which enables the detector plate to remain close to the region of interest and improving the image quality.  slCT is ideal for equine practices wanting to incorporate 3D imaging in the evaluation of their lameness cases. Hallmarq is one of the few companies to incorporate motion correction technology to better ensure high quality, clear images in the standing patient.

Hallmarq equine imagine distal limb CT
veterinary imaging
Imaging of the distal limb using Hallmarq’s new Standing Equine Leg CT

To aid in increasing access to this technology for more practices, Hallmarq considers the total cost of ownership in its design decisions, providing an affordable solution to most clinics.  Their unique financial models and low start-up costs negate the need for upfront capital expenditure and their flexible monthly payment options take seasonality into account.

Bell Equine in Kent, Sussex Equine in Ashington and Donnington Grove Equine in Berkshire have all been instrumental in the early trials of this new system.

Dr Elisabetta Giorio from Donnington Grove stated, “It was really quite exciting to work with the Hallmarq team to help develop this system. The combination of MRI and CT was a useful tool to have and helped with surgical planning and decision making,”

The value of using both MRI and CT modalities together was also recognised by Dr Alison Fairburn, Specialist in Diagnostic Imaging at Bell Equine Vets and said, “It really complemented what the MRI had told us about the content and signal intensity and, in this case, helped with surgical planning, providing useful information on the bone margin.”

Hallmarq advanced imagine distal limb CT
veterinary imaging
A dual-concentric ring design allows for safe and easy access for patients

Hallmarq’s dedicated Research and Development team has been working in collaborative partnerships with their phase one clinical trial sites for the past year, imaging live horses to ensure that the system meets the image quality, robustness and efficiency levels required for use in clinical practice. As with their other systems, Hallmarq considers the practices’ total cost of ownership in its design decisions, providing a solution that is accessible to most clinics.

Cone beam technology (CBCT) is ideal for distal limb imaging where it can detect non-displaced fractures, subtle changes in bone density and small osteophytic lesions without the expense, radiation risks and 3-phase power requirements of fan beam systems.

Dr Luis Rubio-Martinez, surgeon at Sussex Equine Hospital, is keen to test this technology further, adding: “We are interested to see if the slCT can improve our ability to diagnose cartilage defects in coffin joints and fetlocks.”

As installations continue, the new Hallmarq system is now up and running at Rainbow Equine Hospital, North Yorkshire.  

Adding slCT to their state-of-the-art diagnostics suite was an obvious next step forward for the practice, as Dr. Jonathon Dixon, member of the referral team and European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, explains: “We are really excited to put into practice the development so far to help facilitate the move into second phase clinical trials and offer our customers a world first.”

Further information on Hallmarq’s Standing Equine Leg CT (slCT) is available here.