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Association of clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings with outcome in dogs suspected to have ischemic myelopathy: 50 cases (2000–2006)

Luisa De RisioThe Centres for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

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 DVM, PhD
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Vicki AdamsPreventive Medicine, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

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Ruth DennisThe Centres for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

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Fraser J. McConnellDiagnostic Imaging Service, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England.

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Simon R. PlattDepartment of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether clinical signs or magnetic resonance imaging findings were associated with outcome in dogs with presumptive ischemic myelopathy.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—50 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records and magnetic resonance images were reviewed. A neurologic score from 1 (normal) to 5 (most severe degree of dysfunction) was assigned on the basis of neurologic signs at the time of initial examination. Follow-up information was obtained from the medical records and by means of a telephone questionnaire completed by owners and referring veterinarians.

Results—Median neurologic score at the time of initial examination was 3 (range, 2 to 5). Median follow-up time was 584 days (range, 4 to 2,090 days). Neurologic score at the time of initial examination and extent of the lesion seen on magnetic resonance images (quantified as the lesion length-to-vertebral length ratio and as the percentage cross-sectional area of the lesion) were significantly associated with outcome. Sensitivity of using a lesion length-to-vertebral length ratio > 2.0 or a percentage cross-sectional area of the lesion ≥ 67% to predict an unsuccessful outcome was 100%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that severity of neurologic signs at the time of initial examination and extent of the lesions seen on magnetic resonance images were associated with outcome in dogs with ischemic myelopathy.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether clinical signs or magnetic resonance imaging findings were associated with outcome in dogs with presumptive ischemic myelopathy.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—50 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records and magnetic resonance images were reviewed. A neurologic score from 1 (normal) to 5 (most severe degree of dysfunction) was assigned on the basis of neurologic signs at the time of initial examination. Follow-up information was obtained from the medical records and by means of a telephone questionnaire completed by owners and referring veterinarians.

Results—Median neurologic score at the time of initial examination was 3 (range, 2 to 5). Median follow-up time was 584 days (range, 4 to 2,090 days). Neurologic score at the time of initial examination and extent of the lesion seen on magnetic resonance images (quantified as the lesion length-to-vertebral length ratio and as the percentage cross-sectional area of the lesion) were significantly associated with outcome. Sensitivity of using a lesion length-to-vertebral length ratio > 2.0 or a percentage cross-sectional area of the lesion ≥ 67% to predict an unsuccessful outcome was 100%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that severity of neurologic signs at the time of initial examination and extent of the lesions seen on magnetic resonance images were associated with outcome in dogs with ischemic myelopathy.

Contributor Notes

Dr. De Risio's present address is Neurology/Neurosurgery Unit, Centre for Small Animal Studies, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7UU, England.

Presented in part at the XIX Symposium of the European Society for Veterinary Neurology, Barcelona, Spain, September 2006, and in part at the 50th Annual Congress of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Birmingham, England, April 2007.

Address correspondence to Dr. De Risio.