Anatomic description and clinical relevance of the meningovertebral ligament in dogs

Marc Kent 1Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Eric N. Glass 2Section of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, 197 Hance Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724.

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Rachel B. Song 2Section of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, 197 Hance Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724.

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Joshua D. Warren 2Section of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, 197 Hance Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724.

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Alexander de Lahunta 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether dogs have a meningovertebral ligament (MVL) and to assess the effect that structure may have on pathological lesions within the ventral epidural space.

SAMPLE

Cadaveric specimens from 6 neurologically normal dogs and 2 dogs with vertebral neoplasms that extended into the epidural space and MRI sequences and cytologic preparations from 2 dogs with compressive hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion that underwent decompressive surgery.

PROCEDURES

The vertebral column was removed for gross and histologic examination from the cadavers of neurologically normal dogs and dogs with vertebral neoplasms. For dogs with hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion, MRI sequences to assess lesion location and topography and cytologic preparations of material surgically extirpated from the ventral epidural space were reviewed.

RESULTS

All dogs had an MVL, which formed the ventral boundary of the epidural space and consisted of fibrous bands that attached the external ventral surface of the dura mater of the spinal cord to the dorsal surface of the vertebral bodies throughout the length of the vertebral canal. Both vertebral neoplasms had a bilobed appearance as did the extruded nucleus pulposus lesions on MRI sequences.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study indicated that dogs have an MVL, which creates an anatomic barrier within the ventral epidural space and causes pathological lesions to adopt a bilobed shape regardless of the pathogenic process. Further anatomic studies of the MVL and vertebral canal of dogs are necessary to elucidate how those structures affect lesion progression within the ventral epidural space.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether dogs have a meningovertebral ligament (MVL) and to assess the effect that structure may have on pathological lesions within the ventral epidural space.

SAMPLE

Cadaveric specimens from 6 neurologically normal dogs and 2 dogs with vertebral neoplasms that extended into the epidural space and MRI sequences and cytologic preparations from 2 dogs with compressive hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion that underwent decompressive surgery.

PROCEDURES

The vertebral column was removed for gross and histologic examination from the cadavers of neurologically normal dogs and dogs with vertebral neoplasms. For dogs with hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion, MRI sequences to assess lesion location and topography and cytologic preparations of material surgically extirpated from the ventral epidural space were reviewed.

RESULTS

All dogs had an MVL, which formed the ventral boundary of the epidural space and consisted of fibrous bands that attached the external ventral surface of the dura mater of the spinal cord to the dorsal surface of the vertebral bodies throughout the length of the vertebral canal. Both vertebral neoplasms had a bilobed appearance as did the extruded nucleus pulposus lesions on MRI sequences.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study indicated that dogs have an MVL, which creates an anatomic barrier within the ventral epidural space and causes pathological lesions to adopt a bilobed shape regardless of the pathogenic process. Further anatomic studies of the MVL and vertebral canal of dogs are necessary to elucidate how those structures affect lesion progression within the ventral epidural space.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Kent (mkent1@uga.edu).
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