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Correlation of motor evoked potentials with magnetic resonance imaging and neurologic findings in Doberman Pinschers with and without signs of cervical spondylomyelopathy

Ronaldo C. da Costa DMV, PhD1, Roberto Poma DMV, DVSc2, Joane M. Parent DMV, MVetSc3, Gary Partlow PhD4, and Gabrielle Monteith MSc5
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  • 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Abstract

Objective—To establish the reference ranges for motor evoked potential (MEP) latency and amplitude in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers, compare the MEPs of Doberman Pinschers with and without clinical signs of cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM; wobbler syndrome), and determine whether MEP data correlate with neurologic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.

Animals—16 clinically normal and 16 CSM-affected Doberman Pinschers.

Procedures—Dogs were classified according to their neurologic deficits. After sedation with acepromazine and hydromorphone, transcranial magnetic MEPs were assessed in each dog; latencies and amplitudes were recorded from the extensor carpi radialis and cranial tibial muscles. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to evaluate the presence and severity of spinal cord compression.

Results—Significant differences in cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies and amplitudes were detected between clinically normal and CSM-affected dogs. No differences in the extensor carpi radialis MEP were detected between groups. There was a significant correlation (r = 0.776) between the cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies and neurologic findings. Significant correlations were also found between MRI findings and the cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies (r = 0.757) and amplitudes (r = −0.453).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provided a reference range for MEPs in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers and indicated that cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies correlated well with both MRI and neurologic findings. Because of the high correlation between cranial tibial muscle MEP data and neurologic and MRI findings, MEP assessment could be considered as a screening tool in the management of dogs with spinal cord disease.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Da Costa's present address is Universidade Federal do Paraná, Campus Palotina, Palotina, PR, 85950-000, Brazil.

This report represents a portion of a thesis submitted by the first author to the University of Guelph as partial fulfillment for the PhD degree.

Supported by the Pet Trust Foundation from the Ontario Veterinary College and the Doberman Foundation of America. Dr. da Costa was sponsored by the CNPq–National Scientific Research Council of Brazil.

Presented in part as an abstract at the 23rd American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Baltimore, June 2005.

Address correspondence to Dr. da Costa.