2018 journal article
Magnetic resonance imaging features of dogs with incomplete recovery after acute, severe spinal cord injury
SPINAL CORD, 56(2), 133–141.
Retrospective case series.Describe the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of dogs chronically impaired after severe spinal cord injury (SCI) and investigate associations between imaging variables and residual motor function.United States of America.Thoracolumbar MRI from dogs with incomplete recovery months to years after clinically complete (paralysis with loss of pain perception) thoracolumbar SCI were reviewed. Lesion features were described and quantified. Gait was quantified using an ordinal, open field scale (OFS). Associations between imaging features and gait scores, duration of injury (DOI), or SCI treatment were determined.Thirty-five dogs were included. Median OFS was 2 (0-6), median DOI was 13 months (3-83), and intervertebral disk herniation was the most common diagnosis (n = 27). Myelomalacia was the most common qualitative feature followed by cystic change; syringomyelia and fibrosis were uncommon. Lesion length corrected to L2 length (LL:L2) was variable (median LL:L2 = 3.5 (1.34-11.54)). Twenty-nine dogs had 100% maximum cross-sectional spinal cord compromise (MSCC) at the lesion epicenter and the length of 100% compromised area varied widely (median length 100% MSCC:L2 = 1.29 (0.39-7.64)). Length 100% MSCC:L2 was associated with OFS (p = 0.012). OFS was not associated with any qualitative features. DOI or treatment type were not associated with imaging features or lesion quantification.Lesion characteristics on MRI in dogs with incomplete recovery after severe SCI were established. Length of 100% MSCC was associated with hind limb motor function. Findings demonstrate a spectrum of injury severity on MRI among severely affected dogs, which is related to functional status.