Imaging diagnosis: magnetic resonance imaging of a cervical wooden foreign body in a dog

Young B, Klopp L, Albrecht M, et al. 

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2004;45:538-541.

This article describes the discovery of a chronic cervical wooden foreign body ventral to the left transverse processes of the cranial cervical spine using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a dog that presented with chronic neck pain and lameness. The dog did not exhibit dysphagia or chronic draining tracts, the most common signs of the presumed cause, that of a penetrating oropharyngeal foreign body. The foreign body itself was represented on MR images as an oval straight-edged core within an inflammatory tissue reaction. The wood was slightly hyperintense on T2- and isointense on T1-weighted images relative to muscle. Surrounding this was a more conspicuous contrast-enhancing reactive tissue rim that was hyperintense on all pulse sequences. Adjacent musculature also exhibited diffuse edema and contrast enhancement that extended around the left cervical vertebral transverse processes and local intervertebral nerve roots. The foreign body was found to be a wooden stick upon surgical removal. MRI is an excellent method for visualizing the inflammatory tissue reactions associated with soft-tissue foreign bodies because of its contrast resolution and depiction of anatomy in multiple imaging planes.