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Smartphone-Based Pelvic Movement Asymmetry Measures for Clinical Decision Making in Equine Lameness Assessment

Marunova, Eva; Dod, Leea; Witte, Stefan; Pfau, Thilo


Eva Marunova

Leea Dod

Stefan Witte

Thilo Pfau


Visual evaluation of hindlimb lameness in the horse is challenging. Objective measurements, simultaneous to visual assessment, are used increasingly to aid clinical decision making. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of pelvic movement asymmetry with lameness scores (UK scale 0–10) of one experienced veterinarian. Absolute values of pelvic asymmetry measures, quantifying differences between vertical minima (AbPDMin), maxima (AbPDMax) and upward movement amplitudes (AbPDUp), were recorded during straight-line trot with a smartphone attached to the sacrum (n = 301 horses). Overall, there was a significant difference between lameness grades for all three asymmetry measures (p < 0.001). Five pair-wise differences (out of 10) were significant for AbPDMin (p ≤ 0.02) and seven for AbPDMax (p ≤ 0.03) and AbPDUp (p ≤ 0.02). Receiver operating curves assessed sensitivity and specificity of asymmetry measures against lameness scores. AbPDUp had the highest discriminative power (area under curve (AUC) = 0.801–0.852) followed by AbPDMax (AUC = 0.728–0.813) and AbPDMin (AUC = 0.688–0.785). Cut-off points between non-lame (grade 0) and lame horses (grades 1–4) with a minimum sensitivity of 75% were identified as AbPDUp ≥ 7.5 mm (67.6% specificity), AbPDMax ≥ 4.5 mm (51.9% specificity) and AbPDMin ≥ 2.5 mm (33.3% specificity). In conclusion, pelvic upward movement amplitude difference (AbPDUp) was the asymmetry parameter with the highest discriminative power in this study.


Marunova, E., Dod, L., Witte, S., & Pfau, T. (2021). Smartphone-Based Pelvic Movement Asymmetry Measures for Clinical Decision Making in Equine Lameness Assessment. Animals, 11(6), 1665.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 3, 2021
Publication Date Jun 3, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 19, 2021
Journal Animals
Print ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 6
Pages 1665
Keywords General Veterinary; Animal Science and Zoology
Public URL


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