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  • Author or Editor: Lucas A. Smolders x
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OBJECTIVE To provide an objective, quantitative morphometric description of the caudal cervical intervertebral disk (IVD) spaces of dogs.

SAMPLE Vertebral specimens consisting of C4 through C7 from 5 medium-sized dogs.

PROCEDURES CT images were obtained with the specimens positioned in neutral, flexion, extension, and lateral bending positions. Size and shape of the cranial and caudal end plates, angle between the end plates (IVD wedge angle), and craniocaudal distance (IVD width) between end plates for the 4 loading positions were measured and compared for the 3 segments (C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7).

RESULTS End plate size and shape, IVD wedge angle, and IVD width were not significantly different among the 3 segments. Caudal cervical end plates were consistently larger than cranial cervical end plates. The IVD wedge angle ranged from −4.8° to 15.2°. Flexion induced a reduction in IVD width in the ventral portion of the IVD, whereas extension induced a decrease in width in the dorsal portion of the IVD. Central IVD width remained unchanged among the loading positions.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Unique morphometric and dynamic characteristics of the caudal cervical IVD space of dogs were detected. These findings may help investigators when designing IVD prostheses for dogs with cervical spondylomyelopathy.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To evaluate agreement in results obtained with an MRI-based grading scheme and a macroscopic observation-based grading scheme when used to assess intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration in cats.


241 MRI and 143 macroscopic images of singular IVDs in 44 client-owned cats (40 cadaveric and 4 live).


Singular images of IVDs were obtained of live cats admitted for treatment of suspected neurologic disease (MRI images of IVDs) and of cadavers of cats euthanized for reasons unrelated to spinal disease (MRI and macroscopic images of IVDs) at the Small Animal Hospital, Vetsuisse Faculty, Zurich, Switzerland, between January 12, 2015, and October 19, 2015. The IVD images were randomized and evaluated twice by 4 observers for each grading scheme. Inter- and intraobserver reliability for the grading schemes was assessed with Cohen weighted κ analysis. Agreement and correlation between results obtained with the 2 grading schemes were determined with Cohen weighted κ and Spearman correlation coefficient (ρ) analyses, respectively.


Inter- and intraobserver agreement between results was substantial to almost perfect (mean weighted κ, 0.66 to 0.83 and 0.71 to 0.86, respectively) for the MRI-based grading scheme and moderate to substantial (mean weighted κ, 0.42 to 0.80 and 0.65 to 0.79, respectively) for the macroscopic observation-based grading scheme. Between the 2 grading schemes, agreement in results was moderate (mean ± SE weighted κ, 0.56 ± 0.05), and the correlation was strong (ρ = 0.73).


Results indicated that the MRI-based and macroscopic observation-based grading schemes used in the present study could be used reliably for classifying IVD degeneration in cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research