Variation in the position of the Conus Medullaris and Dural Sac in adult dogs

Zohra Khan, Elizabeth Munro, Darren Shaw, Kiterie Faller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although it has long been stated that the level of spinal cord termination varies depending on the size of the dog, the evidence for this remains limited. The aim of this study is to investigate the position of the conus medullaris and dural sac in a population of dogs of varying size. Magnetic resonance images of the thoraco-lumbo-sacral spine of one hundred and one dogs were included. The location of conus medullaris and dural sac was determined on sagittal T2-weighted magnetic resonance images and T1-weighted images respectively by three independent observers. The body weight and the back length were used as markers of size. Regression analysis showed that the termination point of the conus medullaris had a statistically significant relationship with bodyweight (R2=0.23, p<0.05). Although not statistically significant (p=0.058), a similar relationship was found between conus medullaris and back length (R2=0.21). No statistically significant relationship was found between the termination point of the dural sac and bodyweight (p=0.24) or back length (p=0.19). The study confirms the terminal position of the conus medullaris is dependent on size, with a more cranial position with increasing size; however, the termination point of dural sac remains constant irrespective of dog size.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date15 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2019

Keywords

  • Conus medullaris
  • dural sac
  • dog
  • MRI
  • spinal cord anatomy
  • tethered cord syndrome

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