What is Penn HIP?
PennHIP stands for the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement
PennHIP is a multifaceted radiographic technology (x-ray) for
hip evaluation. The technique assesses the quality of the canine
hip and quantitatively measures canine hip joint laxity. The
PennHIP method of evaluation is more accurate than the current
standard in its ability to predict the onset of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD),
is the hallmark of canine hip dysplasia (CHD).
PennHIP is more than just a radiographic technique. It is also
a network of veterinarians trained to perform the PennHIP methodology
properly and, perhaps most importantly, it is a large scientific
database that houses the PennHIP data. The radiographs are made
by certified PennHIP members worldwide and are sent to the PennHIP
analysis center for evaluation. The resulting data is stored
in the database, which is continually monitored as it expands.
As more information becomes available, the PennHIP laboratory
is able to obtain more precise answers to questions about the
etiology (cause), prediction and genetic basis of CHD.
The PennHIP laboratory publishes its findings in scientific journals.
Published information is disseminated to all PennHIP members;
it is also shared with interested breed clubs.
To summarize, PennHIP is composed of three major components
A diagnostic radiographic technique
A network of trained veterinarians
A medical database for scientific analysis
A Brief History
In 1983, Dr. Gail Smith from the University of Pennsylvania School
of Veterinary Medicine conceived and developed a new scientific
method for the early diagnosis of CHD. Research conducted in
his laboratory proved the diagnostic method to be capable of
estimating the susceptibility for CHD in dogs as young as sixteen
weeks of age.
In 1993, Dr. Smith established PennHIP, a cooperative scientific
initiative, to serve as a multi-center clinical trial of the
new hip dysplasia diagnostic technology.
The program was successful and quickly grew beyond the capacity
and purpose of a university research laboratory. Initially, the
University of Pennsylvania licensed PennHIP to outside biotech
companies in order to make the technology available for widespread
public use and to allow Dr. Smith and his colleagues to continue
their research at the School of Veterinary Medicine. PennHIP
has recently been reacquired by the University of Pennsylvania
and is now a not-for-profit organization.
PennHIP Radiographic Evaluation at a Glance
The PennHIP method is a different way to assess, measure and
interpret hip joint laxity. It consists of three separate radiographs:
the distraction view, the compression view and the hip-extended
view (right). The distraction view and compression view, developed
by Dr. Smith, are used to obtain accurate and precise measurements
of joint laxity and congruity. The hip-extended view is used