Magnetic Resonance Imaging Characterization Of Vertebral Endplate Changes In The Dog

Gendron K, Doherr MG, Gavin P, et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2012;53:50-56.

Spinal MR images acquired from canine patients over a 7-year period were reviewed for the presence of vertebral endplate changes. Seventy-five dogs with 76 distinct lesions were identified. Presumptive diagnoses fell into five categories: reactive endplate changes (10 dogs/13.2%), discospondylitis (29 dogs/38.2%), vertebral osteochondrosis (7 dogs/9.2%), intravertebral disc herniation (Schmorl’s nodes) (4 dogs/5.3%), and fatty infiltration (26 dogs/34.2%). Fatty infiltration occurred significantly more often in small breed dogs (P<0.001) and tended to be multifocal. The following features were observed in discospondylitis as well as in other nonfatty endplate pathologies: irregular endplates, endplate hyperintensity in T2w or STIR images, reduced endplate signal intensity in T1w SE, variable T1w GRE signal intensity, and endplate contrast enhancement. Overlap between MR characteristics of nonfatty endplate changes should prompt cautious evaluation of adjacent structures.