Science Special

CT Scan for Horses – Four Dimensional Digital Imaging (4DDI)

A horse should be sedated to undergo a CT scan. What is more, a horse at all in its entirety in a CT scanner. The Equimagine-scanner works with two robotic arms that on all possible ways a horse can move back to the animal on high resolution scan.

Who has to undergo a CT scan, dead silent in the scanning device. In adults it that yet, but in young children or animals that’s a different story. They must be stunned. In addition, choosing such a horse not even in its entirety in a CT scanner.

The School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn FAT) therefore, in cooperation with the American company develops Four Dimensional Digital Imaging (4DDI) a new scanning technique that moves back to the patient.

Robotic arms to help vets

The Equimagine scanner works with two robotic arms that can move in all ways to the patient around on high resolution scan. For the first tests was the patient a horse, which without anesthesia quietly on his own legs could stay.

CT Four Dimensional Digital Imaging

The scanner not only makes two-dimensional CT images, but also three-dimensional images and even moving 3D images with a scanning speed of up to 16 000 frames per second. Thanks to the speed of the Equimagine is a full 3D scan of a horse according to 4DDI within a minute.

Bone fractures

The Equimagine not only makes it easier and cheaper to have a CT scan at a horse, but also new insights. Not all is known about the moving horse. Race horses get by the intensive, repeated tax often suffer from stress fractures or incomplete bone fractures. These are difficult to diagnose, causing horses at the race track suddenly can succumb.

In the longer term, researchers hope the robots as programming that it possible to scan a horse that rent on a conveyer belt, robotic arms adjust for the movement.


Currently the scientists also examine the application of the Equimagine for human patients. They expect that the scanner can give more insight in the musculoskeletal of humans, including the skeleton, the joints and skeletal muscle, especially since it is possible to make high resolution images of the patient in movement.

The benefit for children is that they can undergo a scan in 30 seconds while they sit quietly playing.