Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia in american brussels griffon dogs

Freeman AC, Platt SR, Kent M, et al.

J Vet Intern Med 2014;28:1551-1559.

BACKGROUND: Although Chiari-like malformation (CM) and syringomyelia (SM) have been described in many small breed dogs, the prevalence and clinical manifestations of this complex have not been documented in a large cohort of American Brussels Griffon (ABG) dogs. OBJECTIVES: To characterize the clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of CM and SM in the ABG breed. ANIMALS: Eighty-four American Kennel Club registered ABG dogs were recruited. METHODS: Prospective study. Complete histories and neurologic examinations were obtained before MRI. Images were blindly reviewed and calculations were made by using OsiriX. All analyses were performed by Student’s t-test, Spearman’s correlation, ANOVA, and chi-square test where appropriate. RESULTS: Chiari-like malformation and SM were present in 65% and 52% of dogs, respectively. Twenty-eight percent of dogs had neurologic deficits and 20% had neck pain. Mean central canal (CC) transverse height was 2.5 mm with a mean length of 3.6 cervical vertebrae. Neurologic deficits were significantly associated with a larger syrinx (P = .04, P = .08) and syrinx size increased with age (P = .027). SM was associated with a smaller craniocervical junction (CCJ) height (P = .04) and larger ventricles (P = .0001; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Syringomyelia and CM are prevalent in American Brussels Griffon dogs. Syrinx size is associated with neurologic deficits, CM, larger ventricles, a smaller craniocervical junction height, neurologic deficits, and cerebellar herniation. Fifty-two percent of dogs with a SM were clinically normal.