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Measurements from magnetic resonance (MR) images can be used to examine the anteversion angle (AT-angle) and its influence on the lateromedial or mediolateral luxating forces on the patella. The AT-angle of the femoral neck was measured with the aid of MR imaging in 45 pelvic limbs without patellar instability, in 33 limbs with patellar luxation and in 6 limbs with rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament. The limbs with medial patellar luxation were divided into three groups based on clinical examination. The mean (range) AT-angle was 7.6 degrees (0 degrees to 24 degrees) in the "normal" group, 8.6 degrees (-10 degrees to 29 degrees) in the group "grade II," and -0.4 degrees in the group "grade III" (-28 degrees to 12 degrees). A mean (range) AT-angle of 4.8 (-4 degrees to 11 degrees) was measured in the pelvic limbs with rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament. Compared to literature that described AT-angles based on radiographs of normal limbs, reduced AT-angles were found in this study due to different lines of measurement of the femoral neck. This study documents that the AT-angle of the femoral neck does not influence patellar instability. This study also demonstrates that MR images can be used to make exact measurements of the canine AT-angle that represent the true anatomy of the femoral neck.