MRI best tool for studying intricate nerves in dogs

November 22, 2005

Nov. 22, 2005 - A recent study in the journal Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound presents the first description of the anatomy of a dog's cranial nerves (CN), a once difficult procedure now made possible by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic modality.

"By knowing the normal MRI anatomy of cranial nerve emergences in the dog, the clinician will better recognize lesions affecting those nerves, such as inflammatory or neoplastic diseases, thus allowing earlier recognition of the disease," states lead researcher Laurent Couturier.

Twenty-two MRI brain studies of various dog breeds were reviewed to determine which CNs could be seen using MRI and then to assess the origins of those nerves and associated small openings in the skull. Additionally, a computed tomography study of a separate, isolated skull was performed to determine CN exit. This facilitated recognition of the course of CNs when exiting the skull on MRI images.

"Cranial nerves are difficult to identify because of their small size and their specific course through bony structures," say researchers. "As cranial nerves are small and thin structures of the nervous system, a really precise imaging modality had to be used, and only MRI could give such results on nervous tissue."

The researchers note that in addition to identifying these nerves, CN nuclei were also visible in the study. Anatomic descriptions of normal canine CN nuclei could be the focus of a future study.
-end-
This study is published in Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound. Media who would like to receive a PDF of the study may contact professionalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Lead researcher Laurent Couturier, DVM, Dipl. ECVDI is available for questions and interviews at Laurent_couturier@hotmail.com.

About the Journal
Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound is a bimonthly, international journal that maintains the highest feasible standard for publication of matters pertaining to veterinary imaging and allied disciplines, sustaining its recognition as an established refereed journal and to serve as a source of continuing education. Published papers include results of original investigation, clinical reports, case-history reports and review articles.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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