Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Diagnostic Imaging in Intervertebral Disc Disease

da Costa, R C; De Decker, S; Lewis, M J; Volk, H; The Canine Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (CANSORT-SCI)


R C da Costa

S De Decker

M J Lewis

H Volk

The Canine Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (CANSORT-SCI)


Sarah A. Moore

Natasha J. Olby

Jonathan M. Levine

Melissa J. Lewis

Nick D. Jeffery

Maureen E. Mullins

Ronaldo C. da Costa

Yvette S. Nout-Lomas

Joe Fenn

Nicolas Granger

Ingo Spitzbarth

Veronika M. Stein

Andrea Tipold

Ji-Hey Lim

Holger Volk


Imaging is integral in the diagnosis of canine intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and in differentiating subtypes of intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH). These include intervertebral disc extrusion (IVDE), intervertebral disc protrusion (IVDP) and more recently recognized forms such as acute non-compressive nucleus pulposus extrusion (ANNPE), hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion (HNPE), and intradural/intramedullary intervertebral disc extrusion (IIVDE). Many imaging techniques have been described in dogs with roles for survey radiographs, myelography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Given how common IVDH is in dogs, a thorough understanding of the indications and limitations for each imaging modality to aid in diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis is essential to successful case management. While radiographs can provide useful information, especially for identifying intervertebral disc degeneration or calcification, there are notable limitations. Myelography addresses some of the constraints of survey radiographs but has largely been supplanted by cross-sectional imaging. Computed tomography with or without myelography and MRI is currently utilized most widely and have become the focus of most contemporary studies on this subject. Novel advanced imaging applications are being explored in dogs but are not yet routinely performed in clinical patients. The following review will provide a comprehensive overview on common imaging modalities reported to aid in the diagnosis of IVDH including IVDE, IVDP, ANNPE, HNPE, and IIVDE. The review focuses primarily on canine IVDH due to its frequency and vast literature as opposed to feline IVDH.


da Costa, R. C., De Decker, S., Lewis, M. J., Volk, H., & The Canine Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (CANSORT-SCI), . (2020). Diagnostic Imaging in Intervertebral Disc Disease. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7, 588338.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 9, 2020
Publication Date Oct 22, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 5, 2020
Journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Pages 588338
Keywords Veterinary Science, herniation, extrusion, protrusion, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, intervertebral disc
Public URL


Downloadable Citations