A retrospective study of dogs with vertebral lytic lesions diagnosed tomografically: 28 cases (2012-2017)

Gabriela Ribas Mendes, Fernando Swiech Bach, Luiz Fernando Cardoso Garcia, Saulo Henrique Weber, José Ademar Villanova Junior


Lytic vertebral lesions cause significant pain and variable neurological deficits can cause sensory, motor and proprioceptive loss, and are causes of bones lysis such as discospondylitis, vertebral tumors, bone cysts and osteomyelitis. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of vertebral lytic lesions in the canine population, from computed tomographic (CT) image analyses. A retrospective study, based on the descriptive findings from simple and contrast enhanced CT scans of dogs, between the years 2012 to 2017, was performed. The study consisted of the sequential analysis of 371 reports to identify vertebral lytic lesions, in areas with osteopenia and hypoattenuation, based on Hounsfield Unit scores. The Fisher’s exact test and descriptive statistics were used for statistical analyses. Twenty-eight cases (7.54%) of vertebral lytic lesion were observed; 46.42% of these had characteristics of discospondylitis, with a prevalence in males, in the cranial and caudal ends of the vertebrae. Vertebral tumors were identified in 37.71% of the cases, with a higher incidence in defined medium sized breeds, with unifocal lesions in the vertebral body. Single lesion bone cysts were observed in 10.71% of cases and osteomyelitis in 7.14% of cases. A significant association between the number of vertebrae and degree of impairment (unifocal or multifocal) was observed. CT imaging has become a useful tool for evaluating the architecture and vertebral bone density. This study provides perspectives for the analysis of vertebral lytic lesions. In addition to showing the prevalence of lytic lesions, this study emphasizes the importance of using advanced diagnostic imaging techniques, such as CT imaging, for observing and identifying such lesions, thus directing further examinations such as bone biopsy, culture, and antibiogram or histopathology. It can be concluded that lytic lesions have a considerable incidence, impair the architecture of the vertebra and CT imaging is an effective tool for diagnosing them. Prevalence was observed in male dogs, neutered, with defined breed, of medium size, with unifocal lesion and lytic lesions associated with the discspondylitis.


Bone diseases; Computed tomography; Dogs; Osteopenia; Spine.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n5Supl1p2223

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
E-mail:  semina.agrarias@uel.br
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