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Effect of MRI scanning on hearing in dogs

R. E. Venn, A. R. McBrearty, D. McKeegan, J. Penderis

MAGNETIC resonance imaging (MRI) is being used increasingly frequently in dogs to diagnose and detect a range of conditions. While MRI scanners do not produce radiation, they do produce large amounts of noise. This study aimed to assess the effect of MRI scanner noise on cochlear function in dogs.

Data were collected over seven weeks at the University of Glasgow small animal hospital. Dogs scheduled to have MRI scans under anaesthesia were included, while dogs undergoing other procedures under anaesthesia were used as controls. After dogs were anaesthetised, otoacoustic emission testing (OAE) and distortion product OAE (DPOAE), both of which are used to assess cochlear function, were performed. Following the MRI scan or other control procedures, cochlear function was assessed again.

There were 36 dogs in the MRI group and 17 in the control group. Dogs that had received MRI were more likely to have a reduction in DPOAE after the procedure than dogs in the control group. For five frequencies, the reduction in DPOAE in dogs in the MRI group was significant.

The authors conclude that the dogs that were exposed to MRI noise had a significant reduction in cochlear …

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