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  • Author or Editor: Matthew H. Pelletier x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Compare 3 methods of nucleus pulposus (NP) volume measurement using the rabbit lumbar spines as a preclinical model to determine the effectiveness of prophylactic intervertebral disk fenestration in dogs.

ANIMALS

Twelve 9-month-old, skeletally mature female entire New Zealand White rabbits weighing between 3.5 to 4.5 kg.

METHODS

NP volume measurements of dissected rabbit lumber spines between L1 and L6 were made and compared using gross measurements, reconstructed MRI images, and water volumetry based on Archimedes’ principle. Water volumetry was used as the true gold standard volume measurement in this study.

RESULTS

The true volume (mean ± SD) of the nucleus pulposus NP as measured by water volumetry increased caudally from L1/L2 (16.26 ± 3.32 mm3) to L5/L6 (22.73 ± 6.09 mm3). Volume estimates made by MRI were significantly higher than those made using water volumetry at all sites (L1/L2 [P = .044], L2/L3 [P = .012], L3/L4 [P = .015], L4/L5 [P < .001], and L5/L6 [P < .001]). Gross measurements also significantly overestimated volume when compared to water volumetry at all sites; L1/L2 (P = .021), L2/L3 (P = .025), L3/L4 (P = .001), L4/L5 (P < .001), and L5/L6 (P < .001). MRI and gross volume estimates were significantly different at L4/L5 (P = .035) and L5/L6 (P = .030).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The findings of this preclinical model might be relevant to veterinary surgeons who perform prophylactic fenestration for which there is no reliable method to determine the amount of NP to be removed. Preclinical ex vivo and in vivo fenestration studies with pre- and postoperative NP volume assessment are required.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research