Identification and prevalence of errors affecting the quality of radiographs submitted to Australian thoroughbred yearling sale repositories.
We aimed to identify common mistakes made when radiographing yearling sale horses. Radiographic examinations from repositories at eight yearling sales held in Australia in 2003 were assessed by one of four veterinary radiology specialists. Each radiographic examination consisted of a maximum of 34 radiographs. Each radiograph was assessed for errors associated with movement, exposure, positioning, labeling or marker placement, and processing, and categorized as either ideal, less than ideal or nondiagnostic. In addition, from the first 800 sets catalogued, 167 were selected randomly and read twice by the four radiologists for agreement analysis. A total of 81,297 radiographs were examined for errors affecting quality. Positioning errors were the most common reason for radiographs to be considered nondiagnostic (2432/81,297; 3%), with the flexed lateromedial (LM) metacarpophalangeal joint, LM metatarsophalangeal joint, and the dorsomedial palmarolateral (DMPaLO) carpal views being the most frequently involved. Overexposure (14,357/81,297; 17.7%) was the most common reason for radiographs being categorized as less than ideal with the LM stifle view the most represented. Agreement within and between radiologists for reporting errors in positioning of the flexed LM metacarpophalangeal joint, LM metatarsophalangeal joint, and DMPaLO carpal views varied from slight to almost perfect. The low repeatability within radiologists on some views suggests that before declaring a radiograph nondiagnostic it is worth considering rereading it at another time. Care should be taken in positioning of the flexed LM metacarpophalangeal, LM metatarsophalangeal, and DMPaLO carpus views to maximize radiograph quality.