Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features Of Orbital Inflammation With Intracranial Extension In Four Dogs


Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2007;48:403-408.

This retrospective study describes the clinical and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging features of chronic orbital inflammation with intracranial extension in four dogs (two Dachshunds, one Labrador, one Swiss Mountain). Intracranial extension was observed through the optic canal (n=1), the orbital fissure (n=4), and the alar canal (n=1). On T1-weighted images structures within the affected skull foramina could not be clearly differentiated, but were all collectively isointense to hypointense compared with the contralateral, unaffected side, or compared with gray matter. On T2-, short tau inversion recovery (STIR)-, or fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR)-weighted images structures within the affected skull foramina appeared hyperintense compared with gray matter, and extended with increased signal into the rostral cranial fossa (n=1) and middle cranial fossa (n=4). Contrast enhancement at the level of the affected skull foramina as well as at the skull base in continuity with the orbital fissure was observed in all patients. Brain edema or definite meningeal enhancement could not be observed, but a close anatomic relationship of the abnormal tissue to the cavernous sinus was seen in two patients. Diagnosis was confirmed in three dogs (one cytology, two biopsy, one necropsy) and was presumptive in one based on clinical improvement after treatment. This study is limited by its small sample size, but provides evidence for a potential risk of intracranial extension of chronic orbital inflammation. This condition can be identified best by abnormal signal increase at the orbital fissure on transverse T2-weighted images, on dorsal STIR images, or on postcontrast transverse or dorsal images.