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  • Author or Editor: Ronaldo C. da Costa x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare the percentage of the C3-C7 vertebral canal occupied by the spinal cord in small-breed dogs with that in Doberman Pinschers and Great Danes with and without cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM).

ANIMALS 30 small-breed dogs (body weight, < 15 kg), 15 clinically normal Doberman Pinschers, 15 Doberman Pinschers with CSM, 15 clinically normal Great Danes, and 15 Great Danes with CSM.

PROCEDURES In a retrospective study, sagittal and transverse T2-weighted MRI images of the cervical (C3 to C7) vertebral column obtained from dogs that met study criteria and were free of extensive abnormalities that could affect the spinal cord diameter between January 2005 and February 2015 were reviewed. The area and height of the vertebral column and spinal cord were measured at the cranial and caudal aspect of each vertebra from C3 to C7, and the percentage of the vertebral canal occupied by the spinal cord at each location was calculated and compared among groups of dogs.

RESULTS Mean percentage of the vertebral canal occupied by the spinal cord was greatest for small-breed dogs and lowest for Great Danes, but did not differ between Doberman Pinschers and small-breed dogs at approximately half of the locations evaluated or between Doberman Pinschers with and without CSM or between Great Danes with and without CSM.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that the percentage of the vertebral canal occupied by the spinal cord, although expected to increase with vertebral canal stenosis, may not have a primary role in the pathogenesis of CSM.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the ability of 2-D time-of-flight (ToF) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to depict intracranial vasculature and compare results obtained with 3.0- and 7.0-T scanners in dogs.

Animals—5 healthy Beagles.

Procedures—2-D ToF-MRA of the intracranial vasculature was obtained for each dog by use of a 3.0-T and a 7.0-T scanner. Quantitative assessment of the images was obtained by documentation of the visibility of major arteries comprising the cerebral arterial circle and their branches and recording the number of vessels visualized in the dorsal third of the brain. Qualitative assessment was established by evaluation of overall image quality and image artifacts.

Results—Use of 3.0- and 7.0-T scanners allowed visualization of the larger vessels of the cerebral arterial circle. Use of a 7.0-T scanner was superior to use of a 3.0-T scanner in depiction of the first- and second-order arterial branches. Maximum-intensity projection images had a larger number of vessels when obtained by use of a 7.0-T scanner than with a 3.0-T scanner. Overall, image quality and artifacts were similar with both scanners.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Visualization of the major intracranial arteries was comparable with 3.0- and 7.0-T scanners; the 7.0-T scanner was superior for visualizing smaller vessels. Results indicated that ToF-MRA is an easily performed imaging technique that can be included as part of a standard magnetic resonance imaging examination and should be included in the imaging protocol of dogs suspected of having cerebrovascular disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare morphologic and morphometric features of the cervical vertebral column and spinal cord of Doberman Pinschers with and without clinical signs of cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM; wobbler syndrome) detected via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Animals—16 clinically normal and 16 CSM-affected Doberman Pinschers.

Procedures—For each dog, MRI of the cervical vertebral column (in neutral and traction positions) was performed. Morphologically, MRI abnormalities were classified according to a spinal cord compression scale. Foraminal stenosis and intervertebral disk degeneration and protrusion were also recorded. Morphometric measurements of the vertebral canal and spinal cord were obtained in sagittal and transverse MRI planes.

Results—4 of 16 clinically normal and 15 of 16 CSM-affected dogs had spinal cord compression. Twelve clinically normal and all CSM-affected dogs had disk degeneration. Foraminal stenosis was detected in 11 clinically normal and 14 CSM-affected dogs. Vertebral canal and spinal cord areas were consistently smaller in CSM-affected dogs, compared with clinically normal dogs. In neutral and traction positions, the intervertebral disks of CSM-affected dogs were wider than those of clinically normal dogs but the amount of disk distraction was similar between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The incidence of intervertebral disk degeneration and foraminal stenosis in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers was high; cervical spinal cord compression may be present without concurrent clinical signs. A combination of static factors (ie, a relatively stenotic vertebral canal and wider intervertebral disks) distinguished CSM-affected dogs from clinically normal dogs and appears to be a key feature in the pathogenesis of CSM.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To establish the reference ranges for motor evoked potential (MEP) latency and amplitude in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers, compare the MEPs of Doberman Pinschers with and without clinical signs of cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM; wobbler syndrome), and determine whether MEP data correlate with neurologic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.

Animals—16 clinically normal and 16 CSM-affected Doberman Pinschers.

Procedures—Dogs were classified according to their neurologic deficits. After sedation with acepromazine and hydromorphone, transcranial magnetic MEPs were assessed in each dog; latencies and amplitudes were recorded from the extensor carpi radialis and cranial tibial muscles. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to evaluate the presence and severity of spinal cord compression.

Results—Significant differences in cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies and amplitudes were detected between clinically normal and CSM-affected dogs. No differences in the extensor carpi radialis MEP were detected between groups. There was a significant correlation (r = 0.776) between the cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies and neurologic findings. Significant correlations were also found between MRI findings and the cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies (r = 0.757) and amplitudes (r = −0.453).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results provided a reference range for MEPs in clinically normal Doberman Pinschers and indicated that cranial tibial muscle MEP latencies correlated well with both MRI and neurologic findings. Because of the high correlation between cranial tibial muscle MEP data and neurologic and MRI findings, MEP assessment could be considered as a screening tool in the management of dogs with spinal cord disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To characterize and compare gait variables in Doberman Pinschers with and without cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM).

ANIMALS 18 Doberman Pinschers (9 clinically normal dogs and 9 CSM-affected dogs).

PROCEDURES A neurologic examination was performed on all dogs. The diagnosis of CSM was confirmed with MRI. Temporospatial and kinetic gait variables were measured by use of a pressure-sensitive walkway. Temporospatial variables evaluated included stance phase duration, swing phase duration, gait cycle duration, stride length, and gait velocity. Kinetic variables evaluated included peak vertical force and vertical impulse. Random-effects linear regression was used to determine the difference between CSM-affected and clinically normal dogs for each of the 7 variables.

RESULTS Values for temporospatial variables were significantly smaller in the thoracic limbs of CSM-affected dogs, compared with values for the thoracic limbs of clinically normal dogs. For the kinetic variables, peak vertical force was significantly higher in the thoracic limbs than the pelvic limbs for all dogs. Vertical impulse values were higher in the thoracic limbs than the pelvic limbs. There were significant differences in mean vertical impulse between the thoracic and pelvic limbs for both groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, significant differences in temporospatial variables were identified between the thoracic limbs of clinically normal and CSM-affected dogs, with the values being smaller for the CSM-affected dogs than for the clinically normal dogs. A pressure-sensitive walkway may provide a valid, practical option for rapid, objective assessment of gait and response to treatment in dogs with CSM.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research