To examine whether glucocorticoid (GC) administration alters hippocampal cerebral blood flow (CBF) or volume in dogs.
6 clinically normal adult Beagles.
Each dog underwent CT and MRI to measure the CBF in the hippocampus, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebral cortex and the volume of the hippocampus in each hemisphere of the brain before (day 0) and during (days 7 and 21) a 21-day treatment with prednisolone (1.0 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) and famotidine (0.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h). Results for hippocampal volume, anesthesia-related variables, and semiquantitative measurements of CBF (hemisphere-specific ratios of the CBF in the hippocampus, basal ganglia, and thalamus relative to the CBF in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex and the left cerebral cortex CBF-to-right cerebral cortex CBF ratio) were compared across assessment time points (days 0, 7, and 21).
The ratios of CBF in the right hippocampus and right thalamus to that in the right cerebral cortex on day 21 were significantly lower than those on day 0. No meaningful differences were detected in results for the hippocampal volume in either hemisphere or for the anesthesia-related variables across the 3 time points.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that GC administration reduced CBF in the hippocampus and thalamus in dogs of the present study, similar to that which occurs in humans. Research on GC-related brain alteration in dogs could potentially contribute to advancements in understanding Alzheimer disease in humans and neurodegenerative conditions in dogs.