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Myelography Vs. Computed Tomography in the Evaluation of Acute Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disk Extrusion in Chondrodystrophic Dogs

Hecht S., Thomas W.B., Marioni-Henry K., et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2009. 50(4): p.353-359.

Myelography and/or computed tomography (CT) are commonly used to evaluate acute intervertebral disk extrusion in chondrodystrophic dogs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of myelography and two different CT protocols in determining level and lateralization of acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion in comparison with surgical findings, investigate interobserver variability, and determine examination duration times. Results of conventional CT, helical CT, and myelography were compared with surgical findings in 19 chondrodystrophic dogs with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion. Agreement among investigators was determined for different imaging modalities, and examination times were recorded. In the diagnosis of level of disk extrusion there was agreement of myelography, conventional CT, and helical CT with surgical findings in 94.7%, 100%, and 94.7% of dogs, respectively (P=0.144). In the diagnosis of level and lateralization of disk extrusion there was agreement of myelography, conventional CT, and helical CT with surgical findings in 78.9%, 87.4%, and 85.3% of dogs, respectively (P=0.328). Interobserver agreement was very good for all imaging modalities (myelography 03BA=0.87; conventional CT 03BA=0.86; helical CT 03BA=0.95). There were significant differences in median examination duration times between helical CT (4 min), conventional CT (8 min), and myelography (32 min) (P < 0.001). Both helical and conventional CT appear to be accurate for evaluation of acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion in chondrodystrophic dogs and are faster to perform than myelography.