Measurement of interthalamic adhesion thickness as a criteria for brain atrophy in dogs with and without cognitive dysfunction (dementia)

Hasegawa D, Yayoshi N, Fujita Y, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2005;46:452-457.

The criteria for brain atrophy in dogs have not yet been established, because of wide variation in the morphology of the ventricles and sulci of the brain depending on the breed and size. In this study, we examined the thickness of the interthalamic adhesion in a transverse magnetic resonance image to investigate normal, to examine the correlation with age, body weight, and breed, and to assess whether measurement would be a useful indicator of brain atrophy. The animals used in this study were of various breeds and weight, and had no identifiable intracranial lesion. They were divided into two groups: a normal group (0.6-15-year-old, n = 66) and a demented aging group (12-18-year-old, n = 12). The interthalamic adhesion thickness in both T1- and T2-weighted transverse images were measured in all dogs. The interthalamic adhesion thickness in the normal and demented groups was 6.79 +/- 0.70 and 3.82 +/- 0.79 mm, respectively. The interthalamic adhesion thickness in the demented group was significantly smaller. In an analysis of the correlation of interthalamic adhesion thickness with age and weight in normal dogs, significant negative and positive correlation was recognized, respectively. However, the strength of these correlations was low. These results suggest that interthalamic adhesion thickness may be a good parameter for evaluating brain atrophy in dogs with cognitive dysfunction.