Comparison of Radiographic and Computed Tomography Imaging for the Diagnosis of Caudal Occipital Malformation Syndrome (COMS) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Comparison of Radiographic and Computed Tomography Imaging for the Diagnosis of Caudal Occipital Malformation Syndrome (COMS) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (8-15-2007)

Purpose

This study has 2 major areas of interest:

  1. to compare the abilities and technical ease of computed tomography (CT) and conventional radiography to accurately diagnose COMS in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) and
  2. to gauge which imaging modality offers the better correlation with quantitative assessment of hydrocephalus and syringomyelia in COMS.

Background

Accurate diagnosis is crucial to appropriate and cost-effective treatment. Caudal occipital malformation syndrome frequently presents not only with cranial and vertebral malformations, but also with soft tissue involvement in the form of hydrocephalus and syringomyelia. In the case of COMS in the CKCS, bone lesions are imaged using either conventional radiography or computed tomography (CT); however, radiography is less precise for associated soft tissue abnormalities and requires a degree of expertise in interpretation. CT imaging may offer both a less technically challenging picture and a better evaluation of the surrounding soft tissue environment, thus enhancing detection, treatment, and hopefully prevention via more widespread screening of breeding animals.

Inclusion Criteria and Study Protocol

In addition to CKCS (n=60) already enrolled in a funded project (see clinical trial "Primary Secretory Otitis Media in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels", Dr. Lynette Cole, PI), 10 Cocker Spaniels will be recruited as controls from client-owned animals undergoing CT tympanic bulla exam. The Cocker Spaniel was chosen due to similarities in size and conformation, including skull and occipital condyle shape, without association with COMS.

CT scans of the skull and cranial cervical spine, followed by a single digital radiograph of the same areas, will be performed on the dogs while under general anesthesia. These images will be analyzed for the volume of the cranial cavity, of the caudal cranial fossa, and of the caudal foramen magnum and comparisons made between CT and digital radiographic modalities in terms of which provided the more accurate diagnosis of COMS and which better demonstrates a correlation with soft tissue abnormalities.

Client Compensation

Since the dogs enrolled in this study are either already a part of Dr. Cole's CKCS trial or are undergoing tympanic bulla exams here at OSU (control CS), the client will not be charged for any additional anesthesia, CT scans, or radiographs incurred for this study. These charges will be funded by the grant.

Contact

Dr. Valerie Samii, samii [dot] 3 [at] osu [dot] edu, for further information.