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Laser-Doppler Measurements of Spinal Cord Blood Flow Changes During Hemilaminectomy in Chondrodystrophic Dogs with Disk Extrusion

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(1) To assess spinal cord blood flow (SCBF) during surgical treatment of disk extrusion in dogs and (2) to investigate associations between SCBF, clinical signs, presurgical MRI images, and 24-hour surgical outcome. Study Design

Cohort study. Animals

Chondrodystrophic dogs with thoracolumbar disk extrusion (n=12). Methods

Diagnosis was based on clinical signs and MRI findings, and confirmed at surgery. Regional SCBF was measured intraoperatively by laser-Doppler flowmetry before, immediately after surgical spinal cord decompression, and after 15 minutes of lavaging the lesion. Care was taken to ensure a standardized surgical procedure to minimize factors that could influence measurement readings. Results

A significant increase in intraoperative SCBF was found in all dogs (Wilcoxon's signed-rank test; P=.05) immediately after spinal cord decompression and after 15 minutes. Changes in SCBF were not associated with duration of clinical signs; initial or 24-hour neurologic status; or degree of spinal cord compression assessed by MRI. Conclusion

SCBF increases immediately after spinal cord decompression in dogs with disk herniation; however, increased SCBF was not associated with a diminished 24-hour neurologic status. Clinical Relevance

An increase in SCBF does not appear to be either associated with the degree of spinal cord compression or of a magnitude sufficient to outweigh the benefit of surgical decompression by resulting in clinically relevant changes in 24-hour outcome.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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