Bazelle J, Caine A, Palus V, et al.
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2015;56:196-203.
Intracranial arachnoid diverticula (cysts) are rare accumulations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the arachnoid membrane. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of fourth ventricle arachnoid diverticula in a group of dogs. The hospital’s medical records were searched for dogs with MRI studies of the brain and a diagnosis of fourth ventricle arachnoid diverticulum. Clinical characteristics were recorded from medical records and MRI studies were reinterpreted by a board-certified veterinary radiologist. Five pediatric dogs fulfilled inclusion criteria. Clinical signs included cervical hyperaesthesia, obtundation, tetraparesis, and/or central vestibular syndrome. In all five dogs, MRI findings were consistent with obstructive hydrocephalus, based on dilation of all ventricles and compression of the cerebellum and brainstem. All five dogs also had cervical syringohydromyelia, with T2-weighted hyperintensity of the gray matter of the cord adjacent to the syringohydromyelia. A signal void, interpreted as flow disturbance, was observed at the mesencephalic aqueduct in all dogs. Four dogs underwent surgical treatment with occipitalectomy and durotomy. A cystic lesion emerging from the fourth ventricle was detected in all four dogs during surgery and histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of arachnoid diverticula. Three dogs made excellent recovery but deteriorated shortly after surgery and were euthanized. Repeat MRI in two dogs revealed improved hydrocephalus but worsening of the syringohydromyelia. Findings from the current study supported theories that fourth ventricle arachnoid diverticula are secondary to partial obstruction of the central canal or lateral apertures and that arachnoid diverticula are developmental lesions in dogs.