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Transcranial magnetic stimulation in Doberman Pinschers with clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant spinal cord compression on magnetic resonance imaging

Steven De DeckerDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Iris Van SoensDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Luc DuchateauPhysiology and Biometrics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Ingrid M. V. L. GielenMedical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopaedics of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Henri J. J. van BreeMedical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopaedics of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Dominique H. A. R. BinstDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Tim WaelbersDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Luc M. L. M. Van HamDepartments of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation for differentiating between clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant cervical spinal cord compression on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Design—Validation study.

Animals—Clinically normal Doberman Pinschers without (n = 11) and with (6) spinal cord compression on MRI and 16 Doberman Pinschers with disk-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS).

Procedures—After dogs were sedated, transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials were recorded from the extensor carpi radialis muscle (ECRM) and cranial tibial muscle (CTM). Onset latencies and peak-to-peak amplitudes were measured. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to identify spinal cord compression.

Results—There were significant differences in ECRM and CTM onset latencies between Doberman Pinschers with DAWS and each of the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs, but there were no significant differences in ECRM and CTM onset latencies between the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs. There were significant differences in CTM peak-to-peak amplitudes between Doberman Pinschers with DAWS and each of the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs, but there were no significant differences in ECRM peak-to-peak amplitudes among groups or in CTM peak-to-peak amplitudes between the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs. There was a significant correlation between severity of spinal cord compression and ECRM onset latency, CTM onset latency, and CTM peak-to-peak amplitude.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that transcranial magnetic stimulation may be a useful diagnostic tool to differentiate between clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant spinal cord compression identified on MRI alone.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation for differentiating between clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant cervical spinal cord compression on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Design—Validation study.

Animals—Clinically normal Doberman Pinschers without (n = 11) and with (6) spinal cord compression on MRI and 16 Doberman Pinschers with disk-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS).

Procedures—After dogs were sedated, transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials were recorded from the extensor carpi radialis muscle (ECRM) and cranial tibial muscle (CTM). Onset latencies and peak-to-peak amplitudes were measured. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to identify spinal cord compression.

Results—There were significant differences in ECRM and CTM onset latencies between Doberman Pinschers with DAWS and each of the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs, but there were no significant differences in ECRM and CTM onset latencies between the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs. There were significant differences in CTM peak-to-peak amplitudes between Doberman Pinschers with DAWS and each of the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs, but there were no significant differences in ECRM peak-to-peak amplitudes among groups or in CTM peak-to-peak amplitudes between the 2 groups of clinically normal dogs. There was a significant correlation between severity of spinal cord compression and ECRM onset latency, CTM onset latency, and CTM peak-to-peak amplitude.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that transcranial magnetic stimulation may be a useful diagnostic tool to differentiate between clinically relevant and clinically irrelevant spinal cord compression identified on MRI alone.

Contributor Notes

Dr. De Decker's present address is Department of Clinical Services, Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, England.

Supported by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders, Belgium.

Presented in abstract form at the 22nd Annual Symposium of the European Society of Veterinary Neurology, Bologna, Italy, September 2009.

Address correspondence to Dr. De Decker (sdedecker@rvc.ac.uk).