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Agreement between transverse T2-weighted and three-dimensional constructive interference in steady state sequences in the evaluation of spinal cord disease in dogs
  1. Maria Oliveira1,
  2. James Fraser McConnell2,
  3. Thomas W Maddox2,
  4. Daniel Sanchez-Masian2 and
  5. Rita Gonçalves2
  1. 1Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, Solihull, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2Institute of Veterinary Science, Small Animal Teaching Hospital, University of Liverpool, Neston, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence; r.goncalves{at}


The constructive interference in steady state (CISS) sequence has been widely used in human neuroimaging. It has been shown to be advantageous in the evaluation of intra-axial and extra-axial cystic abnormalities, arteriovenous and dysraphic malformations and disturbances of cerebrospinal fluid circulation. To assess the utility of this technique in small animals, interpretations based on this sequence were compared with those based on T2-weighted (T2W) sequences in 145 dogs that underwent MRI of the spine for suspected spinal cord disease. Two sets of images (T2W and CISS) were reviewed separately by three observers in random order and intraobserver and interobserver agreements between both sequences were evaluated for several categorical variables. The overall agreement between T2W and CISS sequences was good. The highest agreement was observed for lesion diagnosis (0.739<k<0.928), treatment recommendation (0.715<k<0.833) and degree of spinal cord compression (0.772<k<0.952). The agreement for intramedullary intensity change (0.192<k<0.332) was lower compared with the other variables. Lesions that were predominantly characterised by focal hyperintense parenchymal changes on T2W were in some instances undetected on the CISS sequence while lesions consistent with spinal arachnoid diverticula on CISS sequences were occasionally missed on T2W. CISS enabled demonstration that lesions were directly affecting associated spinal nerves in some cases where T2W sequence was equivocal. Although CISS does not replace standard spin echo sequences, the results support inclusion of this sequence in small animal spinal MRI studies when subarachnoid diverticula or spinal nerve compression is suspected.

  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • CISS
  • spinal cord disease

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  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Presented at This work was performed at the Small Animal Teaching Hospital, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE, UK.

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