Objective—To evaluate the evolution of clinical signs and their correlation with results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and to assess potential prognostic variables after conservative medical treatment for disk-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy (DA-CSM) in dogs.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—21 client-owned dogs with DA-CSM.
Procedures—After neurologic grading, dogs underwent low-field MRI and TMS with measurement of onset latencies and peak-to-peak amplitudes from the extensor carpi radialis and cranial tibial muscles. Dimensions calculated from MRI images were remaining spinal cord area, spinal cord compression ratio, vertebral occupying ratio, vertebral canal height-to-body height ratio, vertebral canal height-to-body length ratio, and vertebral canal compromise ratio. Intraparenchymal signal intensity changes were graded. Dogs were reevaluated 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after initial diagnosis.
Results—Outcome was successful in 8 of 21 dogs. Negative outcomes were characterized by rapid progression of clinical signs. All dogs with more severe clinical signs of DA-CSM 1 month after diagnosis had unsuccessful outcomes. Outcome was associated with the remaining spinal cord area and vertebral canal compromise ratio. Prognosis was not associated with severity of clinical signs or results of TMS. There were no significant correlations among clinical signs, MRI findings, and TMS results.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Conservative medical treatment of DA-CSM was associated with a guarded prognosis. Selected MRI variables and clinical evolution 1 month after diagnosis can be considered prognostic indicators. The lack of correlation among clinical signs, results of diagnostic imaging, and results of electrophysiologic evaluation in dogs with DA-CSM warrants further investigation.
Objective—To evaluate cartilage thickness of the talus (especially at sites predisposed to osteochondrosis dissecans [OCD]) in growing and adult dogs not affected with OCD.
Sample—Tarsocrural joints from cadavers of 34 juvenile (approx 3 months old) and 10 adult dogs.
Procedures—Tarsal cartilage thickness was examined via a stereophotography microscopic system. Articular cartilage thickness was determined at 11 locations on longitudinal slices of the trochlear ridges and the sulcus between the ridges and at 2 locations in the cochlea tibiae. Cartilage thickness was measured at the proximal, proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the trochlear ridges; proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the trochlear sulcus; and craniolateral and caudomedial aspects of the cochlea tibiae. Differences within a joint and between sexes were evaluated.
Results—Mean cartilage thickness decreased from proximal to distal in juvenile (lateral trochlear ridge, 1.52 to 0.41 mm; medial trochlear ridge, 1.10 to 0.40 mm) and from proximal to dorsal in adult (lateral trochlear ridge, 0.41 to 0.34 mm; medial trochlear ridge, 0.33 to 0.23 mm) dogs. Cartilage was thickest at the proximal aspect of the lateral trochlear ridge in both groups. Differences in proximodorsal, dorsal, and distal aspects of the ridges were not evident.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Healthy tarsocrural joints did not have thicker cartilage in sites predisposed to development of OCD. Evaluation of affected tarsocrural joints is necessary to exclude influences of cartilage thickness. These data are useful as a reference for distribution of cartilage thickness of the trochlea of the talus in dogs.
Objective—To describe the anatomic features of dentition and surrounding structures of the head in rabbits assessed by use of a newly developed micro-computed tomography (CT) device.
Sample—Cadavers of 7 clinically normal adult Dendermonde White domestic rabbits raised for human consumption.
Procedures—The rabbits were slaughtered in a slaughterhouse, flayed, and decapitated; the rabbit heads were frozen for micro-CT examination. Transverse images were obtained from the nares to the occipital condyles with a custom-designed micro-CT scanner built at the Ghent University Centre for X-ray Tomography. Scan settings were chosen to highlight bony structures on the basis of the designers' experience. The micro-CT images were reviewed, and all recognizable anatomic features were labeled. Afterward, micro-CT images were used to create 3-D reconstructions by use of a custom-developed reconstruction package and 3-D rendering with dedicated software.
Results—Microstructures of the bones and teeth were clearly visible on micro-CT images. Conversely, soft tissue contrast was relatively poor on these images.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Micro-CT appeared to be a promising technique for appropriate diagnosis of dental disease in rabbits. Further research is needed to determine the clinical applications of micro-CT imaging.
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).
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.
Objective—To determine interobserver and intraobserver agreement for results of low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in dogs with and without disk-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS).
Animals—21 dogs with and 23 dogs without clinical signs of DAWS.
Procedures—For each dog, MRI of the cervical vertebral column was performed. The MRI studies were presented in a randomized sequence to 4 board-certified radiologists blinded to clinical status. Observers assessed degree of disk degeneration, disk-associated and dorsal compression, alterations in intraspinal signal intensity (ISI), vertebral body abnormalities, and new bone formation and categorized each study as originating from a clinically affected or clinically normal dog. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 44 initial measurements for each observer. Intraobserver agreement was calculated for 11 replicate measurements for each observer.
Results—There was good interobserver agreement for ratings of disk degeneration and vertebral body abnormalities and moderate interobserver agreement for ratings of disk-associated compression, dorsal compression, alterations in ISI, new bone formation, and suspected clinical status. There was very good intraobserver agreement for ratings of disk degeneration, disk-associated compression, alterations in ISI, vertebral body abnormalities, and suspected clinical status. There was good intraobserver agreement for ratings of dorsal compression and new bone formation. Two of 21 clinically affected dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically normal, and 4 of 23 clinically normal dogs were erroneously categorized as clinically affected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that variability exists among observers with regard to results of MRI in dogs with DAWS and that MRI could lead to false-positive and false-negative assessments.