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Low-Field Mri and Arthroscopy of Meniscal Lesions in Ten Dogs with Experimentally Induced Cranial Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency

Sandra Martig M.K., Hugo G. Schm÷Kel, Ueli Rytz, David Spreng, J‹Rg Scheidegger, Birgit H÷Hl, Patrick R. Kircher, Julie Boisclair, Johann Lang,

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2006. 47(6): p.515-522.

Little is known about the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of canine meniscal lesions. The aim of this study is to describe the MR appearance of meniscal lesions in dogs with experimentally induced cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) deficiency. The pilot study revealed dogs weighing approximately 10†kg to be too small for meniscal evaluation on low-field MRI. In the main study, dogs weighing approximately 35†kg were used. The left CCL was transected and low-field MRI was performed regularly until 13 months post-surgery. Normal menisci were defined as grade 0. Intrameniscal lesions not reaching any surface corresponded to grade 1 if focal and to grade 2 if linear or diffuse. Grade 3 lesions consisted in linear tears penetrating a meniscal surface. Grade 4 lesions included complex signal changes or meniscal distortion. Between 2 and 13 months post-surgery, all dogs developed grade 4 lesions in the medial meniscus. Most of them corresponded to longitudinal or bucket handle tears on arthroscopy and necropsy. Two dogs showed grade 3 lesions reaching the tibial surface of the lateral meniscus on MRI but not in arthroscopy. Such tears are difficult to evaluate arthroscopically; MRI provides more accurate information about the tibial meniscal surface. Grades 1 and 2 lesions could not be differentiated from presumably normal menisci with our imaging technique. An MRI grading system better adapted to canine lesions has yet to be developed. MRI is a helpful tool for the diagnosis of complete tears in the canine meniscus, especially in larger dogs.