CC BY 4.0 · VCOT Open 2020; 03(02): e134-e139
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1717103
Review Article

Clinical and Radiographic Findings of Septic Physitis in Foals

David G. Suarez-Fuentes
1  Diagnostic Imaging Service, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Florida, United States
Dane M. Tatarniuk
2  Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States
› Author Affiliations


The objective of this review is to detail the clinical and radiographic features of septic physitis in foals. Medical records were evaluated from 2008 to 2018 of cases that had septic physitis based on a combination of clinical and radiographic findings. Ten foals were diagnosed with septic physitis. In 8 of 10 foals, presence of a discrete, focal, irregular radiolucency centred on the physis and extending into the epiphysis and metaphysis was present. In the remaining two foals, subtle irregularity and diffuse radiolucency along the length of the physis was present. Three foals were able to later perform athletic function and two were sound but not in training (mean follow-up = 12 months). Overall, a distinguishing radiographic feature of septic physitis in foals is the presence of a focal radiolucency centred on the physis which is associated with the epiphysis and metaphysis consistent with osteolysis.

Authors' Contributions

D.G.S.-F. and D.M.T. conceptualized and designed the study, and acquired, analysed and interpreted the data. All authors drafted, revised and approved the submitted manuscript.


This manuscript has been presented in oral abstract form at the 2019 Veterinary Orthopedic Society Scientific Conference, Snowbird, Utah, United States, February 11, 2019, and the 2018 ACVR/IVRA Scientific Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, United States, October 14–19, 2018.

Publication History

Received: 10 April 2020

Accepted: 24 August 2020

Publication Date:
29 September 2020 (online)

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Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York