The dural tail sign in the diagnosis of meningiomas

Graham JP, Newell SM, Voges AK, et al. 

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1998;39:297-302.

In humans the dural tail is a sign seen on contrast enhanced T1 weighted magnetic resonance images. This finding is considered specific for meningioma. The purpose of this study was to determine how often the dural tail occurs in cats and dogs and whether it is a specific sign for meningiomas in these species. MR examinations for eighteen dogs and four cats with proven diagnoses were reviewed. Diagnoses included ten meningiomas (seven dogs and three cats), three gliomas, two pituitary tumors, single examples of two other tumor types and five patients with mass lesions due to inflammatory disease. Contrast enhanced T1 weighted images were evaluated independently by three of the authors for the presence of a dural tail, without knowledge of the diagnoses. The results were compared to the diagnosis for each patient and the performance of individual reviewers compared. When their results were averaged, the reviewers reported the presence of a dural tail in 6 of 10 (60%) meningiomas, although detection varied between observers from 40% to 80%. Each reviewer had one false positive result, two reported a dural tail with a chromophobe adenocarcinoma and one with a toxoplasma meningoencephalitis. When a dural tail is seen an associated mass is most likely a meningioma. It is uncertain whether the dural tail represents neoplastic infiltration beyond the margins of the meningioma. This should be considered when planning treatment.