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Usefulness of spinal unenhanced computed tomography and CT-myelography in the age of multidetector CT technology and magnetic resonance imaging - Preliminary considerations

Mario Ricciardi
Angela Campanella
Gloria Grieco
Roberta Zammit


Over the last decade, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) have revolutionized diagnostic potential in small animal practice, providing adequate assessment of spinal diseases at levels comparable to that achieved in human radiology. T2-weighted MRI images are extremely sensitive to intramedullary parenchymal disorders, while balanced steady-state free precession sequences provide high-quality myelographic images of the spine without the need of intrathecal contrast medium administration. Multidetector computed tomography, with its near-isotropic spatial resolution and multiplanar reformatting of the acquired datasets, provides sufficient stratigraphic details of the spinal cord and the epidural space, facilitating the detection of compressive pathologies without the need of subarachnoid opacification. Nowadays, MDCT and low-field (LF) MRI have become fairly standard and available in academic institutions and private veterinary facilities, appearing to be valuable, complementary, and non-invasive diagnostic tools for imaging the spine. In this scenario, this clinical communication provides a series of preliminary observations that may help to reconsider the usefulness of CT-myelography in the light of its invasiveness and actual diagnostic advantages compared to MRI and unenhanced MDCT for the assessment of compressive and non-compressive spinal diseases in small animals.

Keywords: Cat, Computed tomographic myelography, Dog, Multidetector computed tomography, Spinal cord

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eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485