Usefulness of an early diagnosis for the favorable prognosis of fibrocartilaginous embolism diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging in 10 small- to middle-sized dogs

Nakamoto Y, Ozawa T, Katakabe K, et al. 

Vet Res Commun 2008;32:609-617.

Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), a disorder of rapid onset featured by nonprogressive paralysis and paresis of four legs, shows clinical symptoms very similar to those of other disorders, e.g., disk herniation. We examined 10 animals diagnosed with FCE based on clinical symptoms and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in a retrospective study to examine the relationship between onset-to-diagnosis/treatment initiation time and prognosis of FCE. Statistical procedures, including Fisher’s exact probability test, were conducted. All animals in a group, in which the diagnosis was made and treatment was initiated after an elapse of <15 days after onset, showed improved symptoms; the group showed a positive correlation (r = 0.76) between “onset-to-symptom improvement time” and “onset-to-diagnosis/treatment initiation time”. Furthermore, the mean onset-to-diagnosis/ treatment initiation times were 2.67 days and 10.25 days in groups without and with sequelae, respectively; the time was significantly (P < 0.02) shorter in the group without sequelae. A significant difference was found between the groups in early diagnosis and treatment initiation. Our study indicates that the early precise diagnosis for acutely developed paralysis and paresis of four legs through testings including MRI, as well as the early onset of their treatment are important to obtain a favorable prognosis.