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Magnetic resonance imaging in the study of spavin in recent and subfossil cattle

László BARTOSIEWICZ, Roger DEMEURE, Isabelle MOTTET, Wim VAN NEER & An LENTACKER

en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 57-60

Published on 01 June 1998

The ankylosis between the tarsal and metatarsal bones (spavin) of cattle which depends on several parameters (weight, age, work, etc.) can be considered a characteristic of draught animals. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to study this fusion (spavin) in recent and subfossil cattle bones. Use of the MRI method has two requirements: The sample must contain hydrogen nuclei (H1) and its spin-spin relaxation time (T2) must be long enough to permit the detection of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signal. We took negative images of the bone matrix by saturating it with a fluid characterized by a longer T2 time than that of the bone tissue. Another limitation in using MRI in imaging archaeological bone specimens is the presence of paramagnetic or ferromagnetic substances inside the subfossil bone matrix. These drastically shorten the T2 value and create local magnetic field gradients. This results in loss of resolution and contrast.

Keywords :

Magnetic resonance imaging, spavin, draught cattle.

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