Magnetization Transfer and Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Dogs with Intervertebral Disc Herniation

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Date
2020-07-14
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Background: Quantitative imaging surrogates of myelin and axonal integrity using magnetization transfer and diffusion tensor imaging may provide beneficial prognostic details on long-term post-surgical recovery in dogs with spinal cord injury (SCI) secondary to intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH).

Hypothesis: Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD), and fractional anisotropy (FA) will be significantly different in patients with a successful outcome compared to patients with an unsuccessful outcome.

Animals: 61 dogs with SCI secondary to IVDH were included in the final analysis. All dogs had to undergo surgical correction for SCI secondary to IVDH and be followed out for 12 weeks.

Methods: Prospective cohort study. MTR, MD, AD, RD, and FA were calculated in dogs with SCI secondary to IVDH. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare MTR, MD, AD, RD, and FA values between patients with a successful outcome and patients with an unsuccessful outcome. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. For quantitative imaging surrogates with a significant relationship with outcome, a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed and the sensitivity and specificity for predicting successful outcome.

Results: MTR (p=0.0013) was significantly lower in patients with a successful outcome compared to patients with an unsuccessful outcome. FA (p=0.435) was not significantly between groups. MD (p=0.0006), AD (p=0.0008) and RD (p=0.0002) were significantly higher in patients with a successful outcome compared to patients with an unsuccessful outcome. ROC curves were performed for MTR, AD and RD. If MTR was ≤ 53, AD ≥ 1.7 × 10-3mm2/s or RD ≥ 0.37 × 10-3 mm2/s, this resulted in a sensitivity of 96.3% and specificity of 100 in predicting a successful outcome.

Conclusion and clinical relevance: MTR, MD, AD, and RD were helpful in predicting successful outcome in canine patients with surgically treated SCI secondary to IVDH. A larger cohort is needed for further evaluation.

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Keywords
Intervertebral disc herniation, magnetic resonance imaging, spinal cord injury
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