Porencephaly In Dogs And Cats: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings And Clinical Signs

Schmidt MJ, Klumpp S, Amort K, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2012;53:142-149.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of brain lesions in 5 dogs and 2 cats characterized by extensive cystic changes of the cerebral hemispheres in terms of a porencephaly are presented. Age at diagnosis ranged from 12 weeks to 7 years. MRI findings were confined to the forebrain. Porencephalic lesions appeared as wedge-shaped parenchymal defects connecting the ventricular system and the subarachnoid space or as large cystic defects in the cerebral hemispheres. Although in two adult dogs the porencephalic lesions were asymptomatic, the other animals showed clinical symptoms depending on the affected cerebral area. Three animals had seizures. Interestingly, four animals showed neurological signs normally not localized to the forebrain (nystagmus, hypermetria, ataxia). Whether these clinical signs are related to impaired function of the cerebral cortex or to not recognizable lesions in the cerebello-vestibular system could not be further clarified. Although the defects develop intrauterine or postnatal, the clinical symptoms can occur later in life. The definition of porencephaly as well as its subclassification is not uniform in veterinary medicine. We suggest the term encephaloclastic porencephaly unregarding the underlying cause of the defect, which cannot be further specified by diagnostic imaging.