Staging of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration in nonchondrodystrophic dogs using low-field magnetic resonance imaging

Seiler G, Hani H, Scheidegger J, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2003;44:179-184.

Recognition of disc degeneration in vivo is important in the investigation of the pathophysiology of intervertebral disc disease as well as the assessment of patients. The purpose of this study was to compare low-field magnetic resonance imaging and histopathologic findings of disc degeneration in the canine caudal lumbar spine. A simple four-stage classification system for disc degeneration is proposed. Most common signs of disc degeneration in magnetic resonance imaging included nuclear clefts, decreased signal intensity of the nucleus pulposus and tears of the annulus fibrosus, or disc herniations. The association between magnetic resonance images and histopathologic findings was highly significant. A sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 79% for magnetic resonance imaging was calculated using histopathology as the gold standard.