Magnetic resonance imaging in 30 cats with traumatic brain injury.

Research paper by Abby A Caine, Robert R Brash, Luisa L De Risio, Jan J Van Dijk, Giunio Bruto GB Cherubini, Ruth R Dennis

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Journal of feline medicine and surgery


The aim of this study was to evaluate the MRI findings in cats following traumatic brain injury (TBI), and establish which features identified might correlate with prognosis. The magnetic resonance images of 30 cats with clinical signs attributed to the brain following TBI were retrospectively reviewed to assess the imaging features seen and their correlation with outcome. Twenty-one of 30 had a good outcome (full recovery or minor ongoing neurological deficits); the other nine either died or had ongoing neurological deficits that significantly affected quality of life. There was evidence of parenchymal injury in only 20/30 cats, including 8/9 that had a poor outcome. The frequency of bilateral or multifocal parenchymal lesions on T2-weighted imaging, and mass effect, particularly caudal transtentorial herniation, was statistically significantly higher in patients with a poorer outcome. Extra-axial haemorrhage was not identified. Concurrent soft tissue injury was noted in all cats, with a poorer prognosis statistically associated with a peripharyngeal pattern of injury and orbital trauma. The number of cases with MRI-identified brain pathology, the patterns of injuries identified and the specific imaging features that appear to have effects on prognosis differ in this series of cats from those published in similar case series of dogs. Further work is needed to establish if cat-specific guidelines are needed to assess brain MRI following trauma.