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Early CT in dogs following traumatic brain injury has limited value in predicting short‐term prognosis

Lee, Chae Youn; Llabres?Diaz, Francisco; Wyatt, Sophie; Beltran, Elsa


Chae Youn Lee

Francisco Llabres?Diaz

Sophie Wyatt

Elsa Beltran


Traumatic brain injury is associated with a high risk of mortality in veterinary patients, however publications describing valid prognostic indicators are currently lacking. The objective of this retrospective observational study was to determine whether early CT findings are associated with short-term prognosis following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in dogs. An electronic database was searched for dogs with TBI that underwent CT within 72 h of injury; 40 dogs met the inclusion criteria. CT findings were graded based on a Modified Advanced Imaging System (MAIS) from grade I (normal brain parenchyma) to VI (bilateral lesions affecting the brainstem with or without any foregoing lesions of lesser grades). Other imaging features recorded included presence of midline shift, intracranial hemorrhage, brain herniation, skull fractures, and percentage of total brain parenchyma affected. Outcome measures included survival to discharge and occurrence of immediate onset posttraumatic seizures. Thirty dogs (75%) survived to discharge. Seven dogs (17.5%) suffered posttraumatic seizures. There was no association between survival to discharge and posttraumatic seizures. No imaging features evaluated were associated with the study outcome measures. Therefore, the current study failed to identify any early CT imaging features with prognostic significance in canine TBI patients. Limitations associated with CT may preclude its use for prognostication; however, modifications to the current MAIS and evaluation in a larger study population may yield more useful results. Despite this, CT is a valuable tool in the detection of structural abnormalities following TBI in dogs that warrants further investigation. K E Y W O R D S canine, head trauma, Modified Glasgow Coma Scale, MRI Abbreviations: CH, calvarial herniation through a fracture site; CTH, caudal transtentorial herniation; FMH, foramen magnum herniation; MAIS, Modified Advanced Imaging System; MGCS, Modified Glasgow Coma Scale; RTH, rostral transtentorial herniation; SFH, subfalcine herniation; TBI, traumatic brain injury.


Lee, C. Y., Llabres‐Diaz, F., Wyatt, S., & Beltran, E. (2021). Early CT in dogs following traumatic brain injury has limited value in predicting short‐term prognosis. Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound, 62(2), 181-189.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 25, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 26, 2020
Publication Date 2021-03
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2021
Journal Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound
Print ISSN 1058-8183
Electronic ISSN 1740-8261
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 62
Issue 2
Pages 181-189
Keywords General Veterinary
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 2020-04-15; Accepted: 2020-09-27; Published: 2020-11-26