Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings In The Spine Of Six Dogs Diagnosed With Lymphoma

Allett B, Hecht S.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2016;57:154-161.

Lymphoma is one of the most common neoplasms in the dog. Despite its prevalence and the increasing use of advanced diagnostic imaging in veterinary patients only few reports of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in spinal lymphoma have been published to date. The purpose of this retrospective case series study was to describe the MRI findings in dogs with confirmed lymphoma affecting the spine and/or paraspinal soft tissues. Medical records were searched for patients that had MRI of the spine and a diagnosis of lymphoma during the period of 2005–2015. Data recorded from retrieved MRI studies were presence of focal or multifocal disease, structures involved, and signal characteristics on T2-W, short tau inversion recovery (STIR), and T1-W sequences prior to and following intravenous contrast medium administration. Six dogs met the inclusion criteria. Common findings included multifocal disease (4/6), vertebral involvement (5/6), spinal cord compression (4/6), and involvement of more than one spinal compartment (medullary cavity, vertebral canal, paraspinal soft tissues) (6/6). Vertebral changes were confined to the medullary cavity without evidence of cortical osteolysis. There was questionable involvement of the spinal cord in one case. All spinal and paraspinal lesions identified were T2-W isointense to hyperintense, STIR hyperintense, T1-W hypointense to isointense, and showed variable moderate to strong contrast enhancement. Additional lesions identified were enlarged intraabdominal lymph nodes, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, and a splenic nodule. The STIR and T1-W postcontrast sequences were subjectively the most useful in identification of the spinal and paraspinal lesions.