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Cytosine arabinoside constant rate infusion without subsequent subcutaneous injections for the treatment of dogs with meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin
  1. Kimberley Stee1,
  2. Bart J G Broeckx2,
  3. Mike Targett3,
  4. Sergio A Gomes1 and
  5. Mark Lowrie1
  1. 1Neurology, Dovecote Veterinary Hospital, Castle Donington, Derbyshire, UK
  2. 2Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  3. 3Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kimberley Stee, Neurology, Dovecote Veterinary Hospital, Castle Donington DE74 2LJ, Derby, UK; kimberleystee{at}


Background The administration of cytosine arabinoside (CA) by continuous rate infusion (CRI) at the time of diagnosis has been shown to improve the 3-month survival of dogs diagnosed with meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown origin (MUO), compared to subcutaneous administration. The benefit of administering subsequent sequential CA subcutaneous injections is unknown. This study compares the outcomes of a CA CRI protocol with (CRI+subcutaneous group) or without (CRI group) follow-up CA subcutaneous injections; both groups received adjunctive prednisolone.

Methods Forty-two dogs diagnosed with MUO were recruited (CRI group) and compared with 41 historical control dogs (CRI+subcutaneous group) in a prospective, controlled clinical trial with 36 months of follow-up.

Results Success rates were respectively 64.3 per cent and 65 per cent in the CRI and the CRI+subcutaneous groups at 40 weeks following diagnosis, and 32.5 per cent and 35.9 per cent at 36 months following diagnosis. The median time to relapse was 299 and 285 days for the CRI and the CRI+subcutaneous groups, respectively. No statistically significant difference was found (P≥0.05).

Conclusion No clear benefit was identified in the administration of subsequent sequential CA subcutaneous injections after the first administration of CA by CRI for the treatment of dogs diagnosed with MUO.

  • cytarabine
  • cytosar
  • meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown (a)etiology
  • granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis
  • necrotising meningoencephalomyelitis
  • necrotising leucoencephalitis
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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.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. No additional data available.

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