Vertebral Venous System Abnormalities of Sighthounds Identified on Magnetic Resonance Images

Vernon, J., Durand, A., Guevar, J., José-López, R. , Hammond, G. , Stalin, C. and Gutierrez Quintana, R. (2016) Vertebral Venous System Abnormalities of Sighthounds Identified on Magnetic Resonance Images. In: 2nd British Veterinary Neurology Society (BVNS) Symposium, Birmingham, UK, 2 Apr 2016,

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The vertebral venous system (VVS) is composed of the internal vertebral venous plexus (IVVP), external vertebral venous plexus (EVVP) and basivertebral veins (BVV). Anatomical variations or pathological changes causing enlargement of this venous network are infrequently described in both human and veterinary medicine and may be associated with clinical signs. In the authors’ experience VVS abnormalities are more common in sighthound dog breeds. The aim of this retrospective study is to describe such abnormalities, as identified on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in a population of sighthounds. The MRI database of the University of Glasgow Small Animal Hospital was retrospectively searched for vertebral column studies of breeds classified as sighthounds. One hundred MRI studies fitted these criteria and were reviewed by a single observer. Cases that had abnormal enlargement of VVS components were then confirmed by a second observer. The vertebral level, side and the anatomical location (IVVP, intervertebral vein (IVV), EVVP, BVV) were noted for each abnormality. Finally, the signalment, clinical signs, neurological examination findings and final diagnosis for each case were recorded. Eleven cases with abnormal enlargement of the VVS were identified. They included 5 Greyhounds, 4 Deerhounds, 1 Irish Wolfhound, and 1 Lurcher. 7/11 cases were females and the mean age was 6 years 3 months (range: 1.5-10.5 years). The most common clinical signs exhibited were pain (neck 6/11 and lumbar 2/11), ataxia (4/11), paresis (3/11) and lameness (3/11). The abnormalities found included enlargement of the IVVP unilaterally (10/11) and bilaterally (1/11) at one or more locations; enlargement of the IVVs unilaterally (8/11), bilaterally (2/11) or a combination of the two (1/11) at one or more locations; and enlargement of the EVVP in 7/11 cases. No abnormalities of the basivertebral veins were found, possibly due to the difficulty in identifying these vessels on imaging. Abnormalities were most common in the C4-T1 region (9/11), especially at the level of C6/7. Additionally, most abnormalities were unilateral with the right side more commonly affected. All eleven cases had more than one abnormality and 4/11 cases had abnormalities in nonadjacent anatomical locations. Interestingly one Greyhound had bilateral enlargement of the IVVP causing significant spinal cord compression. In only 2/11 cases was a definitive diagnosis achieved. Of the remaining nine cases, seven had VVS abnormalities in a neuroanatomical location that could possibly explain, either wholly or in part, the clinical signs exhibited by these patients. The results of this study suggest that abnormalities of the VVS in sighthounds are not uncommon findings (11%) and can be incidental, as evidenced by their presence in two cases with an unrelated definitive diagnosis. However, it is possible some of them may be clinically relevant as indicated by the number of cases where a diagnosis was not achieved, coupled with the correlation of the neuroanatomical location of the abnormalities and the clinical signs display. Further prospective study would be indicated to fully elucidate the clinical significance of these abnormalities.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Guevar, Mr Julien and Stalin, Mrs Catherine and Gutierrez Quintana, Mr Rodrigo and Jose-Lopez, Mr Roberto and Hammond, Dr Gawain
Authors: Vernon, J., Durand, A., Guevar, J., José-López, R., Hammond, G., Stalin, C., and Gutierrez Quintana, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
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