Tissue Characterization (UTC)
UTC Imaging is a new diagnostic scanning modality for imaging tendons and ligaments whereby the results are analyzed by a computer program. With this technique four different echo-types can be discriminated and related to the architecture and integrity of tendons and ligaments. This ultra-structural information is visualized tomographically in 3 planes of view and quantified by means of the calculation of respective percentages of echo-types. The ratios of these 4 echo-types are highly correlated with histo-morphological characteristics of tendon tissue, showing the discriminative power of UTC for tissue characterization. UTC appeared to be very sensitive which allows not only discrimination but also staging of extensive disintegration. Already minimal load induced changes in the tendon matrix, whether physiological or pathological, can be monitored with excellent inter- and intra- observer reliability.
SMDC uses this technique not only on tendon and ligament lesions but also as a tool for monitoring high-performance horses aiming at injury prevention.