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Evaluation of the volumes of cranial cavities in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Chiari-like malformation and other brachycephalic dogs as measured via computed tomography

Martin J. Schmidt Dr med vet1, Miriam Biel Dr med vet2, Stephan Klumpp Dr med vet3, Matthias Schneider PD, Dr med vet4, and Martin Kramer Dr med vet5
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter St 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter St 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter St 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter St 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinic, Justus-Liebig University, Frankfurter St 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany.

Abstract

Objective—To measure the absolute and relative volumes of cranial vaults of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs) and other brachycephalic dogs for the purpose of evaluating a possible association between the volume of the caudal fossa (fossa caudalis cerebri; CF) and existence of Chiari-like malformation (CLM) and syringohydromyelia in CKCSs.

Animals—40 CKCSs and 25 brachycephalic dogs.

Procedures—The intracranial vault of all dogs was evaluated via computed tomography followed by magnetic resonance imaging. Volumes of the CF and the rostral and medial fossa (fossa rostralis et medialis cerebri) were determined. The ratio of the absolute volumes was calculated as the volume index (VI).

Results—All CKCSs had cranial characteristics consistent with CLM. There were no significant differences between CKCSs and brachycephalic dogs with respect to the VI and absolute volumes of the CF and rostral and medial fossas. The CKCSs without syringohydromyelia (n = 26) had a median VI of 0.1842, and CKCSs with syringohydromyelia (14) had a median VI of 0.1805. The median VI of other brachycephalic dogs was 0.1864. The VI did not differ among these 3 groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested that descent of the cerebellum into the foramen magnum and the presence of syringohydromyelia in CKCSs are not necessarily associated with a volume reduction in the CF of the skull.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Kramer.