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View Full Version : Chestergates MRI - Anybody Been Recently



Brian M
25th July 2011, 10:03 AM
Hi

Just wondering if anyone has been there for an MRI recently and who did you see .Since I took my Rosie
in Oct last year Martin Deutschland has returned to Germany ,the only other alternative is North West Surgeons
but they only have a weekly visiting MRI scanner and no onsite neurologist .

If one is suspicious of SM by possible shown symptoms does it always mean that a full MRI (with its accompanying GA ) is necessary or could diagnosis and a treatment regime be made by observation .

Kate H
25th July 2011, 10:29 AM
Oliver is looked after by Ulrika Michal at Chestergates, who has always been very good with him, and is happy to give advice over the phone, even though we haven't seen her for 2 years. A mini scan (head and top of spine) will almost certainly pick up whether or not a dog has SM; what it won't do is give the full picture of the extent of a syrinx if it is present beyond the first few vertebrae - for example, there may be a small syrinx at the top of the spine but a bigger one (likely to do more damage) lower down. But this could be guessed at by the extent of symptoms; for example, Oliver's mini scan revealed a small syrinx at the top of the spine, and from his lack of symptoms I would be very surprised if there is a big nasty lurking lower down. The other plus with a mini scan (as far as I'm concerned) is that Chestergates do it with sedation rather than GA - Oliver in fact has a minimal dose of sedative, and as far as he's concerned, a GA is for life-threatening cases only! On the other hand, the Chestergates scans are not accepted for the BVA/KC scheme because non-GA scans don't always give a clear enough picture. But in most cases they will tell you the bottom line - my dog does/doesn't have SM - and then you can take it from there (which may include a full scan later).

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Brian M
25th July 2011, 09:31 PM
Hi

I note some centres have their own onsite MRI scanners and others like Northwest Surgeons have a visiting mobile scanner ,
does anybody know if the scanners would give exactly the same result or would one be more preferable than the other .?

Are different types of scanner used by vet centres ie low/high resonance/intensity ,if so how do they vary in quality of results are they equal.?

Margaret C
26th July 2011, 12:06 AM
Hi

I note some centres have their own onsite MRI scanners and others like Northwest Surgeons have a visiting mobile scanner ,
does anybody know if the scanners would give exactly the same result or would one be more preferable than the other .?

Are different types of scanner used by vet centres ie low/high resonance/intensity ,if so how do they vary in quality of results are they equal.?

Hello Brian,

My understanding is that an onsite MRI scanner probably gives a better quality scan, but I don't know if I have actually seen that written down anywhere.

I do know that most of those concerned with the new BVA/KC Scheme believe it is safer for the dog to have a general anaesthetic than sedation.

I have to admit that I am completely incapable of taking in technical information, so I cannot get my head round the different types of MRI scanners.

Clare Rusbridge's website Question & Answer section has some information on MRIs http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/faq.htm

And half way down this section for vets it shows why the quality of the scan matters

http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/sm_screening_vets.htm


The only other information I can think that may help you is an extract from Maggie Ford's notes on the Cavalier Club website ( written when she was health representative and before she was banned from meetings to discuss the BVA/KC Scheme )




Notes from the BVA /KC CMSM Scheme Seminar held on 7 October 2010






Ruth Dennis (Animal Health Trust)



Ruth gave a very clear description of MRI scanning and the types of MRI scanner. There are basically 2 types of scanner, a high field scanner (1.5 Tesla) such as used in hospitals, and a low field scanner (0.2 0.3 Tesla) which is generally used in veterinary practices.

Ruth then went on to explain and illustrate the different types of images that were required. A T1W image giving a more accurate detailed image, but a T2W giving better contrast. For the purposes of imaging for a Chiari-like malformation and a syrinx, both types of images are required. The cord oedema of a pre-syrinx is only visible on a T2W weighted image.

When getting a mini scan for breeding purposes a T1W image is the usual image. T2W images are harder to get with low field scanners because they take longer. Longer scans give better results.

Ruth also explained which images need to be taken, sagittal (lengthwise) and transverse (cross section), and how frequently (every 4mm) cross section slices need to be taken so that a small syrinx is not missed between.

Many dogs that have SM in the neck also have it all the way down. In some cases it can be worse further back.

This whole procedure takes some time to perform, and all the time the dog must remain completely still. This is usually done with anaesthesia (because the dog will have a tube into the throat and oxygen can be administered as required), but can be performed with sedation, the choice is up to the veterinary practice performing the MRI scan.

Microchips can interfere with an MRI scan, therefore dogs destined for MRI scanning must have the microchip implanted no further forward than the scapulae.

The BVA scheme will be a compromise between effectiveness and cost.

Nicki
26th July 2011, 09:36 AM
I have had low cost MRI scans done at Chestergates [and seen quite a few too] - also some full ones done at Glasgow vet school [for symptomatic dogs] with a mobile scanner.

The Mobile scanner was far superior - Clare Rusbridge saw those MRIs and was very impressed with the quality, so don't rule out the mobile ones!!

I think it depends on the machine they are using, as Margaret posted.


I'm presuming this is for one of your own dogs Brian? Sorry to hear that you are concerned.