Clinical signs, causes, and outcome of central cord syndrome in 22 cats

Carlos Ros Neurology and Neurosurgery Service, Memvet Referral Center, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

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Roberto José-López Small Animal Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland

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Cristina Font Hospital Veterinari Canis, Girona, Spain

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Anna Suñol Hospital for Small Animals, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Scotland

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Emili Alcoverro Chestergates Veterinary Specialists, Chester, UK

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Jasmin Nessler Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany

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Alejandra García de Carellán Mateo Anaesthesia and Analgesia Service, Memvet Referral Center, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

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Vicente Aige Departamento de Sanidad y Anatomía Animal, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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Rita Gonçalves Department of Veterinary Science, Small Animal Teaching Hospital, University of Liverpool, Neston, UK

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the signalment, clinical findings, presumptive or definitive diagnosis, and outcome in cats with central cord syndrome (CCS).

ANIMALS

22 cats.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION

Cats evaluated for CCS at 7 referral hospitals between 2017 and 2021 were included. Information retrieved from medical records included signalment, physical and neurological examination findings, diagnostic investigations, definitive or presumptive diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.

RESULTS

Median age at presentation was 9 years. Two neuroanatomical localizations were associated with CCS: C1-C5 spinal cord segments in 17 (77.3%) cats and C6-T2 spinal cord segments in 5 (22.7%) cats. Neuroanatomical localization did not correlate with lesion location on MRI in 8 (36.3%) cats. The most common lesion location within the vertebral column was over the C2 and C4 vertebral bodies in 6 (27.2%) and 5 (22.7%) cats, respectively. Peracute clinical signs were observed in 11 (50%) cats, acute in 1 (4.5%), subacute in 4 (18%), and chronic and progressive signs were seen in 6 (40.9%) cats. The most common peracute condition was ischemic myelopathy in 8 (36.3%) cats, whereas neoplasia was the most frequently identified chronic etiology occurring in 5 (22.7%) cats. Outcome was poor in 13 (59%) cats, consisting of 4 of 11 (36.6%) of the peracute cases, 3 of 4 (75%) of the subacute cases, and 6 of 6 of the chronic cases.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Central cord syndrome can occur in cats with lesions in the C1-C5 and C6-T2 spinal cord segments. Multiple etiologies can cause CCS, most commonly, ischemic myelopathy and neoplasia. Prognosis depends on the etiology and onset of clinical signs.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the signalment, clinical findings, presumptive or definitive diagnosis, and outcome in cats with central cord syndrome (CCS).

ANIMALS

22 cats.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION

Cats evaluated for CCS at 7 referral hospitals between 2017 and 2021 were included. Information retrieved from medical records included signalment, physical and neurological examination findings, diagnostic investigations, definitive or presumptive diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.

RESULTS

Median age at presentation was 9 years. Two neuroanatomical localizations were associated with CCS: C1-C5 spinal cord segments in 17 (77.3%) cats and C6-T2 spinal cord segments in 5 (22.7%) cats. Neuroanatomical localization did not correlate with lesion location on MRI in 8 (36.3%) cats. The most common lesion location within the vertebral column was over the C2 and C4 vertebral bodies in 6 (27.2%) and 5 (22.7%) cats, respectively. Peracute clinical signs were observed in 11 (50%) cats, acute in 1 (4.5%), subacute in 4 (18%), and chronic and progressive signs were seen in 6 (40.9%) cats. The most common peracute condition was ischemic myelopathy in 8 (36.3%) cats, whereas neoplasia was the most frequently identified chronic etiology occurring in 5 (22.7%) cats. Outcome was poor in 13 (59%) cats, consisting of 4 of 11 (36.6%) of the peracute cases, 3 of 4 (75%) of the subacute cases, and 6 of 6 of the chronic cases.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Central cord syndrome can occur in cats with lesions in the C1-C5 and C6-T2 spinal cord segments. Multiple etiologies can cause CCS, most commonly, ischemic myelopathy and neoplasia. Prognosis depends on the etiology and onset of clinical signs.

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