Johnson P, De Risio L, Sparkes A, et al.
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2012;53:524-534.
The clinical, morphologic, and morphometric features of cranial thoracic spinal stenosis were investigated in large and giant breed dogs. Seventy-nine magnetic resonance imaging studies of the cranial thoracic spine were assessed. Twenty-six were retrieved retrospectively and 53 were acquired prospectively using the same inclusion criteria. Images were evaluated using a modified compression scale as: no osseous stenosis (grade 0), osseous stenosis without spinal cord compression (grade 1), and osseous stenosis with spinal cord compression (grade 2). Morphometric analysis was performed and compared to the subjective grading system. Grades 1 and 2 cranial thoracic spinal stenosis were identified on 24 imaging studies in 23 dogs. Sixteen of 23 dogs had a conformation typified by Molosser breeds and 21/23 were male. The most common sites of stenosis were T2–3 and T3–4. The articular process joints were enlarged with abnormal oblique orientation. Stenosis was dorsolateral, lateralized, or dorsoventral. Concurrent osseous cervical spondylomyelopathy was recognized in six dogs and other neurologic disease in five dogs. Cranial thoracic spinal stenosis was the only finding in 12 dogs. In 9 of these 12 dogs (all grade 2) neurolocalization was to the T3-L3 spinal segment. The median age of these dogs was 9.5 months. In the remaining three dogs neurologic signs were not present. Stenosis ratios were of limited benefit in detecting stenotic sites. Grade 2 cranial thoracic spinal stenosis causing direct spinal cord compression may lead to neurologic signs, however milder stenosis (grade 1) is likely to be subclinical or incidental.