Published Date: December 7, 2020

Full Text Article

Association of magnetic resonance assessed disc degeneration and late clinical recurrence in dogs treated surgically for thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusions

Authors: Sara Longo, Sergio A Gomes, Chiara Briola, Katherine Duffy, Mike Targett, Nick D Jeffery, Paul Freeman

J Vet Intern Med. 2021 Jan;35(1):378-387. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15989. Epub 2020 Dec 7.


BACKGROUND: Radiographic signs of intervertebral disc mineralization are thought to indicate sites of future recurrence of disc extrusion (Hansen type I) but the relationship between evidence of disc degeneration on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and future disc extrusion with recurrence of clinical signs has not been examined.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between MRI-assessed degeneration of thoracolumbar intervertebral discs and late recurrence of clinical signs in dogs presented with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion and treated by hemilaminectomy alone.

ANIMALS: Ninety-two client-owned dogs presented to 2 referral hospitals between 2009 and 2014.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of association between clinical signs consistent with recurrent thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion and MRI evidence of disc degeneration in dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy for acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analyses were used to explore associations between recurrence of clinical signs and several characteristics of T10-L3 discs at initial diagnosis.

RESULTS: Ninety-two cases were included, of which 42 (46%) were Dachshunds and median age was 5.3 years. Clinical signs recurred in 33/92 (36%) dogs. Finding a completely degenerate disc in the T10 to L3 region (in addition to the operated site) at the time of surgery was associated with a hazard ratio of 2.92 (95% confidence interval: 1.37-6.20) for recurrence of clinical signs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Our results suggest that in cases of thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion in dogs, recurrence of signs is likely if at least 1 completely degenerate disc in addition to the currently symptomatic disc is visible on MRI.

PMID: 33283382DOI: 10.1111/jvim.15989PMC: PMC7848362