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Agreement between low-field MRI and CT for the detection of suspected intracranial lesions in dogs and cats

Ingrid GielenDepartment of Veterinary Medical Imaging and Small Animal Orthopaedics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Kaatje KromhoutDepartment of Veterinary Medical Imaging and Small Animal Orthopaedics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Pat GavinMr. Vets Inc, 109 Raven View, Sagle, ID 83860

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Luc Van HamDepartment of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Ingeborgh PolisDepartment of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Henri van BreeDepartment of Veterinary Medical Imaging and Small Animal Orthopaedics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Abstract

Objective—To assess the agreement between CT and MRI for enabling detection of intracranial lesions in cats and dogs.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—51 dogs and 7 cats with suspected intracranial lesions.

Procedures—During a 2-year-period, dogs and cats with suspected intracranial pathological changes underwent MRI and CT (single slice) of the head. Radiologists evaluated images produced with both techniques without awareness of subject identity. Agreement between methods was assessed for allowing detection of solitary or multiple lesions, selected lesion characteristics (via the Cohen κ statistic), and lesion dimensions (via Bland-Altman plots).

Results—CT and MRI had substantial agreement for allowing detection of lesions and identification of whether the lesions were solitary or multiple. The techniques agreed almost perfectly for allowing identification of a mass effect and contrast medium enhancement, which were considered principal diagnostic imaging signs. A lower degree of agreement was attained for allowing identification of enhancement patterns and aspects of lesion margins. Agreement was substantial to almost perfect for lesion visualization in most anatomic brain regions but poor for identification of lesion dimensions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degrees of agreement between CT and MRI for allowing the detection and characterization of intracranial lesions ranged from poor to almost perfect, depending on the variable assessed. More investigation is needed into the relative analytic sensitivity and possible complementarities of CT and MRI in the detection of suspected intracranial lesions in dogs and cats.

Abstract

Objective—To assess the agreement between CT and MRI for enabling detection of intracranial lesions in cats and dogs.

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—51 dogs and 7 cats with suspected intracranial lesions.

Procedures—During a 2-year-period, dogs and cats with suspected intracranial pathological changes underwent MRI and CT (single slice) of the head. Radiologists evaluated images produced with both techniques without awareness of subject identity. Agreement between methods was assessed for allowing detection of solitary or multiple lesions, selected lesion characteristics (via the Cohen κ statistic), and lesion dimensions (via Bland-Altman plots).

Results—CT and MRI had substantial agreement for allowing detection of lesions and identification of whether the lesions were solitary or multiple. The techniques agreed almost perfectly for allowing identification of a mass effect and contrast medium enhancement, which were considered principal diagnostic imaging signs. A lower degree of agreement was attained for allowing identification of enhancement patterns and aspects of lesion margins. Agreement was substantial to almost perfect for lesion visualization in most anatomic brain regions but poor for identification of lesion dimensions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degrees of agreement between CT and MRI for allowing the detection and characterization of intracranial lesions ranged from poor to almost perfect, depending on the variable assessed. More investigation is needed into the relative analytic sensitivity and possible complementarities of CT and MRI in the detection of suspected intracranial lesions in dogs and cats.

Contributor Notes

Drs. Gielen and Kromhout contributed equally to the study.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kromhout (Kaatje.Kromhout@ugent.be).