Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Radiology: spine

Contributor(s): Fraser McConnell

Introduction

Overview

Radiographic considerations

  • A low kV, high mAs technique will maximize contrast.
  • Detail screens and film should be used for small dogs.
  • A grid will be required for medium to large breeds.
  • Survey radiography is relatively insensitive for the diagnosis of many spinal conditions.
  • Myelography Radiography: myelography Radiology: myelography is required in most cases to confirm site of cord compression or disease.
  • At least 2 orthogonal projections need to be taken.
  • Positioning is extremely important as rotation and obliquity of the spine can make interpretation very difficult and may lead to erroneous diagnosis.
  • Due to geometric effects of the diverging primary beam there will be artefactual narrowing of the intervertebral disks at the periphery of the film.
  • For this reason multiple radiographs are required, centered on each region of the spine to avoid erroneous diagnosis of narrowed intervertebral disks.

Restraint

  • Spinal radiography usually requires anesthesia to facilitate positioning.
  • Care needs to be taken moving patient with suspected vertebral fractures or luxations as muscle relaxation with anesthesia may result in fracture/luxation becoming unstable.

Indications

  • Investigation of neurological disease localized to spine.
  • Back or neck pain.
  • Investigation of FUO.
  • Investigation of certain tumors, eg myeloma Myeloma.

Radiographic anatomy

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Interpretation

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Additional studies

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Penderis J, Schwarz T, McConnell J F et al (2005) Dysplasia of the caudal vertebral articular facets in four dogs: results of radiographic, myelographic and magnetic resonance imaging investigations. Vet Rec 156 (19), 601-605 PubMed.
  • Bailey C S (1975) An embryological approach to the clinical significance of congenital vertebral and spinal cord abnormalities. JAAHA 11 (4), 426-434 VetMedResource.


ADDED