Computed Tomographic Analysis Of Calvarial Hyperostosis In Captive Lions


Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2010;51:34-38.

Osseous malformations in the skull and cervical vertebrae of lions in captivity are believed to be caused by hypovitaminosis A. These often lead to severe neurologic abnormalities and may result in death. We describe the characterization of these abnormalities based on computed tomography (CT). CT images of two affected and three healthy lions were compared with define the normal anatomy of the skull and cervical vertebrae and provide information regarding the aforementioned osseous malformations. Because bone structure is influenced by various factors other than the aforementioned disease, all values were divided by the skull width that was not affected. The calculated ratios were compared and the most pronounced abnormalities in the affected lions were, narrowing of the foramen magnum, thickening of the tentorium osseus cerebelli and thickening of the dorsal arch of the atlas. CT is useful for detection of the calvarial abnormalities in lions and may be useful in further defining this syndrome.