Cervical spinal arachnoid cyst in a dog

Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne (Impact Factor: 0.52). 04/2000; 41(3):225-7.
Source: PubMed


An 18-month-old, intact male Akita presented with a 12-month history of progressive ataxia, hypermetria, and loss of conscious proprioception of the thoracic and pelvic limbs. Neurological examination and myelography localized a lesion at cervical vertebrae 1 and 2 consistent with an arachnoid cyst. Hemilaminectomy and cyst fenestration led to virtually full recovery.

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    ABSTRACT: Thirteen dogs, including 6 Rottweiler dogs, exhibiting clinical signs of spinal cord dysfunction and myelographically confirmed subarachnoid space enlargement were investigated. To characterize the lesions and to get a better understanding of their pathogenesis, different imaging techniques were used in association with explorative surgical procedures (12 dogs) and histopathologic techniques (5 dogs). All subjects underwent preoperative myelography, five of which were examined by computed tomography (CT) scanning and one by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow measurement (velocimetry). Most animals were <12 months old (7/13 dogs) and Rottweilers were over-represented (6/13 dogs). The lesions were mainly located dorsally with respect to the spinal cord (10/13 dogs) and in the cranial cervical area (8/13 dogs). MRI suggested spinal cord deviation with signs of ventral leptomeningeal adhesion opposite the enlarged space. In one dog, velocimetry confirmed that the "cyst" was freely communicating with the surrounding CSF space. Surgical investigation confirmed leptomeninges-induced ventral adhesion in 4/5 dogs. Follow-up studies, carried out from 6 months to 2.5 years postoperatively, showed there was full recovery in 8/13 dogs. This study suggests that the compression of the spinal cord is possibly not caused by a cyst. Adhesion resulting from a combination of microtrauma and chronic inflammatory processes induces a secondary enlargement of the subarachnoid space and may be a significant causative factor in spinal cord compression and dysfunction. The over-representation of Rottweilers and the young age of the animals in the study suggest a possible genetic predisposition and an inherited etiology.
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    ABSTRACT: The medical records of 17 dogs diagnosed with spinal arachnoid cysts at North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital were retrospectively examined to identify trends in signalment, history, neurological status, treatment, and short- and long-term prognosis. The typical case was that of a nonpainful, progressive ataxia frequently characterized by hypermetria and incontinence. Cysts typically occurred in the dorsal subarachnoid space at the first to third cervical vertebrae of young, large-breed dogs or the caudal thoracic vertebrae of older, small-breed dogs. Although 14 of 15 dogs treated surgically did well in the short term, long-term successful outcomes were achieved in only eight of the 12 dogs that were followed for >1 year. Significant predictors of good, long-term outcome were not identified; however, factors associated with a trend toward a good outcome included <3 years of age, <4 months' duration of clinical signs, and marsupialization as the surgical technique.
    No preview · Article · May 2003 · Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association
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