The spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratio measured with computed tomography is lower in the thoracolumbar than the cervical region in French Bulldogs

Sara Silva Langford Veterinary Services, University of Bristol, UK

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 DVM, MSc
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Marie-Aude Genain Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

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 DVM, DECVDI
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Sam Khan Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

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Jessica-Robyn Gauton Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

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Paul Freeman Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

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 MA, VetMB, DECVN

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratios measured with CT between the cervical and thoracolumbar regions in French Bulldogs.

ANIMALS

37 French Bulldogs presented to a referral hospital between 2016 and 2019.

PROCEDURES

The study was conducted as a retrospective observational study. Exclusion criteria were evidence of vertebral malformations or spinal cord compression at the sites where measurements were obtained and the presence of cervicothoracic or thoracolumbar transitional vertebrae or neurologic deficits. CT images were reviewed, and measurements were performed by 2 investigators. Measurements of the spinal cord and vertebral canal were made at the level of or immediately cranial to the midbodies of C5 and L1.

RESULTS

A 2-tailed, paired t test indicated that the mean spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratio differed significantly (P < .01) between C5 (0.726) and L1 (0.605). The ratio was lower in the thoracolumbar region, suggesting that the vertebral canal was relatively larger in this region.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The epidural space did not appear to be larger in the cervical than in the thoracolumbar region in this population of French Bulldogs, contrary to previous reports. The reason for the more severe deficits observed with thoracolumbar disk extrusion in this breed remains to be characterized.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratios measured with CT between the cervical and thoracolumbar regions in French Bulldogs.

ANIMALS

37 French Bulldogs presented to a referral hospital between 2016 and 2019.

PROCEDURES

The study was conducted as a retrospective observational study. Exclusion criteria were evidence of vertebral malformations or spinal cord compression at the sites where measurements were obtained and the presence of cervicothoracic or thoracolumbar transitional vertebrae or neurologic deficits. CT images were reviewed, and measurements were performed by 2 investigators. Measurements of the spinal cord and vertebral canal were made at the level of or immediately cranial to the midbodies of C5 and L1.

RESULTS

A 2-tailed, paired t test indicated that the mean spinal cord-to-vertebral canal area ratio differed significantly (P < .01) between C5 (0.726) and L1 (0.605). The ratio was lower in the thoracolumbar region, suggesting that the vertebral canal was relatively larger in this region.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The epidural space did not appear to be larger in the cervical than in the thoracolumbar region in this population of French Bulldogs, contrary to previous reports. The reason for the more severe deficits observed with thoracolumbar disk extrusion in this breed remains to be characterized.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 128 KB)
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