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Linear magnetic resonance imaging measurements of the hippocampal formation differ in young versus old dogs
  1. Anna Gardini1,
  2. Olivier Taeymans2,
  3. Giunio Bruto Cherubini1,
  4. Alberta de Stefani3,
  5. Mike Targett4 and
  6. Enzo Vettorato5
  1. 1 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Dick White Referrals, Six Mile Bottom, UK
  2. 2 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Dick White Referrals, Six Mile Bottom, UK
  3. 3 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, UK
  5. 5 Department of Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Dick White Referrals, Six Mile Bottom, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondenceDick White Referrals, Cambridgeshire CB8 0UH, UK; anna.gardini{at}


Age-related hippocampal formation (HF) atrophy has been documented on MRI studies using volumetric analysis and visual rating scales.This retrospective cross-sectional study aimed to compare linear MRI measurements of the HF between young (1–3 years) and old (>10 years) non-brachycephalic dogs, with normal brain anatomy and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis. Right and left hippocampal formation height (HFH), height of the brain (HB) and mean HFH/HB ratio were measured by two observers on a transverse T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence containing rostral colliculi and mesencephalic aqueduct.119 MRI studies were enrolled: 75 young and 44 old dogs. Left and right HFH were greater (p<0.0001) in young, while HB was greater in old dogs (p=0.024). Mean HFH/HB ratio was 15.66 per cent and 18.30 per cent in old and young dogs (p<0.0001). No differences were found comparing measurements between epileptic and non-epileptic dogs.Old dogs have a greater HB; this may represent the different study populations or a statistical phenomenon. Ageing affects HF linear measurements. A reduction of mean HFH/HB ratio between 18.30 per cent and 15.66 per cent should be considered a physiological age-related process of the canine lifespan. The use of mean HFH/HB ratio could be considered for quantifying brain atrophy in elderly dogs.

  • brain
  • dog
  • hippocampal formation
  • hippocampus
  • magnetic resonance imaging (mri)
  • age-related changes

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research 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.

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