The purpose of this study was to determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) accurately predicts surgical findings in dachshund dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusions (TLDE). Sixteen dogs presenting with signs of acute TLDE took part in this investigation. MRI was performed on each dog. This was followed by decompressive surgery with the completion of an intra-operative questionnaire documenting the site of the extrusion and spatial distribution of the disc material for each dog. An independent veterinary radiologist evaluated each MRI study, measured and recorded the same parameters from images, utilising 3 sequences (T1-, T2-weighted and Short T1 Inversion recovery) without knowledge of the surgical findings. The imaging findings were compared with the intra-operative measurements. The specific intervertebral disc (IVD) space from which the material extruded and lateralization of the extruded disc material (EDM) were found to be similar between MRI and surgical observations. Longitudinal distribution of the EDM was described as being cranial, caudal or equally distributed in relation to the affected IVD. A Kappa test showed moderate agreement in longitudinal distribution between MRI and surgery. Circumferential distribution was recorded on transverse images and compared to surgical findings. Recorded distribution only coincided completely in 1 case, although the rest of the cases showed good overlap of findings between the MRI and intraoperative findings.Our results could not demonstrate a statistically significant difference between T1-, T2-weighted or STIR sequences when determining the length of the extruded mass in the vertebral canal. We found that when evaluating the absolute error and range of error for each sequence, that the T2-weighted sequence had a narrower range of errors and was thus more consistent in predicting the size of the lesion pre-surgically. MRI was validated as a very useful imaging modality for neurological disorders in dogs.
Dissertation (MMedVet)--University of Pretoria, 2008.