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Results of cerebrospinal fluid analysis, neurologic examination findings, and age at the onset of seizures as predictors for results of magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in dogs examined because of seizures: 115 cases (1992–2000)

William W. Bush VMD1,2, Christina S. Barr VMD, PhD3, Edwin W. Darrin BS4, Frances S. Shofer PhD5, Charles H. Vite DVM, DACVIM6, and Sheldon A. Steinberg VMD, DMSc, DACVIM7
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  • 1 Department of Neurology, Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Present address is VCA Veterinary Referral Associates Inc, 15021 Dufief Mills Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.
  • | 3 University of Pennsylvania.
  • | 4 University of Pennsylvania.
  • | 5 Department of Emergency Medicine, Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 6 Department of Neurology, Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 7 Department of Neurology, Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether neurologic examination findings, results of CSF analysis, or age at the onset of seizures could be used to predict whether results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be normal or abnormal in dogs with seizures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—115 dogs.

Procedure—Information on results of neurologic examination, results of CSF analysis, age at the onset of seizures, and results of MRI was obtained from the medical records.

Results—Results of MRI were abnormal in 61 dogs and normal in 54. Sensitivity and specificity of neurologic examination alone were 77 (47/61) and 91% (49/54), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of CSF analysis alone were 79 (48/61) and 69% (37/54), respectively. Results of MRI were abnormal for 12 of 28 (43%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis results and normal neurologic examination results but for only 2 of 35 (6%) dogs with normal CSF analysis and normal neurologic examination results. Similarly, results of MRI were abnormal for 36 of 37 (97%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis and abnormal neurologic examination results but for only 11 of 15 (73%) dogs with normal CSF analysis results and abnormal neurologic examination results. Age at the onset of seizures (< 6 vs ≥ 6 years old) was not significantly associated with results of MRI.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that neurologic examination findings and results of CSF analysis are useful in predicting whether results of MRI will be abnormal in dogs examined because of seizures, but age at the onset of seizures is not. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:781–784)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether neurologic examination findings, results of CSF analysis, or age at the onset of seizures could be used to predict whether results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be normal or abnormal in dogs with seizures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—115 dogs.

Procedure—Information on results of neurologic examination, results of CSF analysis, age at the onset of seizures, and results of MRI was obtained from the medical records.

Results—Results of MRI were abnormal in 61 dogs and normal in 54. Sensitivity and specificity of neurologic examination alone were 77 (47/61) and 91% (49/54), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of CSF analysis alone were 79 (48/61) and 69% (37/54), respectively. Results of MRI were abnormal for 12 of 28 (43%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis results and normal neurologic examination results but for only 2 of 35 (6%) dogs with normal CSF analysis and normal neurologic examination results. Similarly, results of MRI were abnormal for 36 of 37 (97%) dogs with abnormal CSF analysis and abnormal neurologic examination results but for only 11 of 15 (73%) dogs with normal CSF analysis results and abnormal neurologic examination results. Age at the onset of seizures (< 6 vs ≥ 6 years old) was not significantly associated with results of MRI.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that neurologic examination findings and results of CSF analysis are useful in predicting whether results of MRI will be abnormal in dogs examined because of seizures, but age at the onset of seizures is not. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:781–784)