Magnetic resonance imaging of cerebral cortical necrosis (polioencephalomalacia) in a dog

Mariani CL, Platt SR, Newell SM, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2001;42:524-531.

A 3-year-old neutered female mixed breed dog was examined because of severe, generalized seizure activity, tetraparesis, and encephalopathic signs. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) evaluation was unremarkable except for a mild increase in protein. Serum and CSF titers for infectious diseases were negative. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging examination of the brain was performed and lesions were found within the cerebral gray matter of the temporal and parietal lobes. The lesions had increased signal intensity on T1, T2, and proton density-weighted images. There was mild inhomogeneous enhancement following intravenous contrast medium administration. Neurologic status improved and the seizures were well controlled, but the dog never regained normal mentation and euthanasia was performed 10 weeks after initial evaluation. At necropsy, severe cerebral cortical necrosis was found in the regions corresponding to the lesions seen on MR imaging examination. Large numbers of fat-containing macrophages (gitter cells) were found within these areas, and are thought to be responsible for the characteristic hyperintensity seen on the MR images.