– How to take LTV radiographs

Lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LTV) and spondylosis: Instructions for radiography according to the Finnish Kennel Club protocol

General instructions:

The dog must be sedated for the radiography and the microchip must be checked.

The radiographs must be marked permanently (e.g. lead tape) with the dog’s registration number or microchip number and the date of the radiography. The side marking is mandatory in the ventrodorsal projection.

Radiographs:

For identification of the LTV type, information of the exact number of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae is essential.

Images available also: http://www.kennelliitto.fi/selkaohjeen-kuvat

At least 3 radiographs are needed:

  1. Lateral thoracic spine
    = C7–L1 covered preferably in one image (Figure 1). If this is not possible, two radiographs are made (C7–T11 and T10–L1 [Figure 4]). The anticlinal vertebra (T10 or T11) can be used as a landmark for identification of the vertebrae.
  2. Lateral lumbar spine
    = T13–Cd1 covered preferably in one image (Figure 2). If this is not possible, two radiographs are made (T13–L7 and L5–Cd 1). The cranial border of the iliac bones can be used as a land mark for identification of the vertebrae.
  3. Ventrodorsal projection of the sacrum and at least 2 most caudal lumbar vertebrae (Figure 3A). Hip radiograph (Figure 3B) can be used, if the caudal lumbar vertebrae are visible.

The radiographs should be straight: the spine parallel to the table and without rotation (use foam rubber supports).

Figure 1 Thoracic spine
Figure 2 Lumbar spine
Figure 3A Sacrum VD
Figure 3B Hips
Figure 4 T–L junction