Novel application of kinematic magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of cervical spondylomyelopathy in dogs

Purpose

The purpose of our research is to evaluate the usefulness of kinematic MRI in dogs with CSM. This project will further our current understanding of CSM, and will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with the disease and refinement of treatment strategies.

Background

Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) is the most common cause of neck pain and gait abnormalities in large and giant breed dogs. A similar condition is present in human beings; this condition is often associated with neck pain, paresthesia, and in severe cases, paralysis. In both conditions, spinal cord and nerve root compression are responsible for clinical signs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is frequently used to evaluate compressive structures (bulging discs, boney abnormalities) in both humans and animals. It is currently known that changes in neck position will affect spinal cord and nerve root compression. In human medicine, MRI is performed with the neck flexed and extended (kinematic MRI) in order to fully evaluate compressive structures. Results from kinematic MRI are often used to direct patient treatment. Kinematic MRI is not yet utilized in veterinary medicine.  This project will further our current understanding of CSM, and will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with the disease and refinement of treatment strategies.

Inclusion Criteria

To qualify for enrollment in this study, dogs must have:
• Mature Doberman Pinschers and Great Danes suspected to have CSM based upon history and clinical presentation.

Study Design

A complete physical and neurologic examination will be performed, and pre-anesthetic bloodwork and x-rays will be performed. A routine MRI will be performed under general anesthesia. Following routine MRI imaging, your dog will be placed on a novel positioning device. He/she will undergo standard MRI imaging, and then MRI with the neck flexed and extended and then will then be recovered from general anesthesia. Additional imaging is expected to add approximately 20 – 30 minutes to your dog’s procedure.

Client Compensation

• The study will contribute $1200 toward your dog’s MRI.

Client Cost

• The initial examination fee, bloodwork, radiographs (x-rays), any additional diagnostic test needed, general anesthesia, and any costs associated with treatment (medications, surgery).

Client Contact

• OSU VMC Neurology Service (614-292-3551)
• Michele Provencher, DVM
• Ronaldo da Costa, DVM, MSc, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology)