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Traumatic Subarachnoid-Pleural Fistula in a Dog

Packer R.A., Frank P.M. and Chambers J.N.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound, 2004. 45(6): p.523-7.

Subarachnoid-pleural fistula is a rare occurrence in humans as a result of trauma or spinal surgery. Such fistulas commonly remain undiagnosed until sufficient cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the pleural space to cause respiratory distress. We describe a subarachnoid-pleural fistula in a dog that occurred subsequent to blunt trauma sustained during a fall, with concurrent acute, traumatic intervertebral disc rupture. The extruded disc material penetrated the dura mater, allowing communication between the subarachnoid space and the extrapleural thoracic cavity. Radiographic, myelographic, and computed tomographic (CT) findings are reviewed. Abnormalities noted during myelography included an intradural-extramedullary lesion at T11-T12, with epidural leakage of contrast medium from the region of T12 extending cranially. In images from myelography and CT there was extravasation of contrast medium extending from the subarachnoid and epidural space into the extrapleural thoracic cavity.