Clinical Features, Imaging Characteristics, and Long-term Outcome of Dogs with Cranial Meningocele or Meningoencephalocele

K Lazzerini, R Gutierrez-Quintana, R José-López, F McConnell, R Gonçalves, J McMurrough, S De Decker, C Muir, S L Priestnall, L Mari, F Stabile, L De Risio, C Loeffler, A Tauro, C Rusbridge, S Rodenas, S Añor, C de la Fuente, A Fischer, A BruehschweinJ Penderis, J Guevar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: The term meningoencephalocele (MEC) describes a herniation of cerebral tissue and meninges through a defect in the cranium, whereas a meningocele (MC) is a herniation of the meninges alone.

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinical features, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics, and outcomes of dogs with cranial MC and MEC.

ANIMALS: Twenty-two client-owned dogs diagnosed with cranial MC or MEC.

METHODS: Multicentric retrospective descriptive study. Clinical records of 13 institutions were reviewed. Signalment, clinical history, neurologic findings and MRI characteristics as well as treatment and outcome were recorded and evaluated.

RESULTS: Most affected dogs were presented at a young age (median, 6.5 months; range, 1 month - 8 years). The most common presenting complaints were seizures and behavioral abnormalities. Intranasal MEC was more common than parietal MC. Magnetic resonance imaging identified meningeal enhancement of the protruded tissue in 77% of the cases. Porencephaly was seen in all cases with parietal MC. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis identified mild abnormalities in 4 of 11 cases. Surgery was not performed in any affected dog. Seventeen patients were treated medically, and seizures were adequately controlled with anti-epileptic drugs in 10 dogs. Dogs with intranasal MEC and mild neurologic signs had a fair prognosis with medical treatment.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Although uncommon, MC and MEC should be considered as a differential diagnosis in young dogs presenting with seizures or alterations in behavior. Medical treatment is a valid option with a fair prognosis when the neurologic signs are mild.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants/administration & dosage
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid/chemistry
  • Dog Diseases/diagnostic imaging
  • Dogs
  • Encephalocele/diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/veterinary
  • Male
  • Meningocele/diagnostic imaging
  • Porencephaly/veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures/drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


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