Cervical Vertebral Lesions in Equine Stenotic Myelopathy

J. G. Janes, K. S. Garrett, K. J. McQuerry, S. Waddell, M. J. Voor, S. M. Reed, N. M. Williams, J. N. MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Skeletal lesions in the articular processes of cervical vertebrae C2 to C7 were compared between Thoroughbred horses with cervical stenotic myelopathy (17 males, 2 females; age, 6–50 months) and controls (6 males, 3 females; age, 9–67 months). Lesions identified by magnetic resonance imaging occurred with an increased frequency and severity in diseased horses and were not limited to sites of spinal cord compression. Lesions involved both the articular cartilage and trabecular bone and were further characterized using micro–computed tomography and histopathology. The most common histologic lesions included osteochondrosis, osseous cyst–like structures, fibrous tissue replacement of trabecular bone, retained cartilage matrix spicules, and osteosclerosis. Osseous cyst–like structures were interpreted to be true bone cysts given they were a closed cavity with a cellular lining that separated the cyst from surrounding bone. This is the first report of bone cysts in the cervical articular processes of horses with cervical stenotic myelopathy. The morphology and distribution of the lesions provide additional support for the previously proposed pathogenesis that developmental abnormalities with likely secondary biomechanical influences on the cervical spine contribute to equine cervical stenotic myelopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-927
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 24 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • MRI
  • cervical stenotic myelopathy
  • cervical vertebral malformation
  • histopathology
  • horse
  • micro-CT
  • osteochondrosis
  • wobbler syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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