Objective—To assess the agreement between CT and MRI for enabling detection of intracranial lesions in cats and dogs.
Animals—51 dogs and 7 cats with suspected intracranial lesions.
Procedures—During a 2-year-period, dogs and cats with suspected intracranial pathological changes underwent MRI and CT (single slice) of the head. Radiologists evaluated images produced with both techniques without awareness of subject identity. Agreement between methods was assessed for allowing detection of solitary or multiple lesions, selected lesion characteristics (via the Cohen κ statistic), and lesion dimensions (via Bland-Altman plots).
Results—CT and MRI had substantial agreement for allowing detection of lesions and identification of whether the lesions were solitary or multiple. The techniques agreed almost perfectly for allowing identification of a mass effect and contrast medium enhancement, which were considered principal diagnostic imaging signs. A lower degree of agreement was attained for allowing identification of enhancement patterns and aspects of lesion margins. Agreement was substantial to almost perfect for lesion visualization in most anatomic brain regions but poor for identification of lesion dimensions.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degrees of agreement between CT and MRI for allowing the detection and characterization of intracranial lesions ranged from poor to almost perfect, depending on the variable assessed. More investigation is needed into the relative analytic sensitivity and possible complementarities of CT and MRI in the detection of suspected intracranial lesions in dogs and cats.
Case Description—A 4-year-old sexually intact male mixed-breed dog was evaluated because of clinical signs of acute-onset pelvic limb ataxia, rapidly progressing to paraplegia with severe spinal hyperesthesia.
Clinical Findings—General physical examination revealed pyrexia, tachycardia, and tachypnea. Neurologic examination demonstrated severe spinal hyperesthesia and paraplegia with decreased nociception. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed extradural spinal cord compression at T13-L1 and hyperintense lesions on T1- and T2-weighted images in the epaxial musculature and epidural space.
Treatment and Outcome—Decompressive surgery, consisting of a continuous dorsal laminectomy, with copious lavage of the vertebral canal was performed. Cultures of blood, urine, and surgical site samples were negative. Histologic examination results for samples obtained during surgery demonstrated suppurative myositis and steatitis. These findings confirmed a diagnosis of sterile idiopathic inflammation of the epidural fat and epaxial muscles with spinal cord compression. The dog's neurologic status started to improve 1 week after surgery. After surgery, the dog received supportive care including antimicrobials and NSAIDs. The dog was ambulatory 1 month after surgery and was fully ambulatory despite signs of mild bilateral pelvic limb ataxia 3 years after surgery.
Clinical Relevance—Although idiopathic sterile inflammation of adipose tissue, referred to as panniculitis, more commonly affects subcutaneous tissue, its presence in the vertebral canal is rare. Specific MRI findings described in this report may help in reaching a presumptive diagnosis of this neurologic disorder. A definitive diagnosis and successful long-term outcome in affected patients can be achieved by decompressive surgery and histologic examination of surgical biopsy samples.
Objective—To determine intraobserver, interobserver, and intermethod agreement for results of myelography, computed tomography-myelography (CTM), and low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in dogs with disk-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS).
Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.
Animals—22 dogs with DAWS.
Procedures—All dogs underwent myelography, CTM, and low-field MRI. Each imaging study was interpreted twice by 4 observers who were blinded to signalment and clinical information of the patients. The following variables were assessed by all 3 techniques: number, site, and direction of spinal cord compressions; narrowed intervertebral disk spaces; vertebral body abnormalities; spondylosis deformans; and abnormal articular facets. Intervertebral foraminal stenosis was assessed on CTM and MRI images. Intraobserver, interobserver, and intermethod agreement were calculated by κ and weighted κ statistics.
Results—There was very good to good intraobserver agreement for most variables assessed by myelography and only moderate intraobserver agreement for most variables assessed by CTM and low-field MRI. There was moderate to fair interobserver and intermethod agreement for most variables assessed by the 3 diagnostic techniques. There was very good or good intraobserver, interobserver, or intermethod agreement for the site and direction of the worst spinal cord compression as assessed by all the imaging modalities; abnormal articular facets and intervertebral foraminal stenosis were the least reliably assessed variables, with poor interobserver agreement regardless of imaging modality used.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—There was considerable variation in image interpretation among observers and between use of various imaging modalities; these imaging techniques should be considered complementary in assessment of dogs with DAWS.