SM in CKCS is linked to degeneration of spinal cord
In a study published in the Journal of Comparative Pathology, researchers H.Z. Hu, C. Rusbridge, F. Constantino-Casas, N. Jeffery report that:
"SM is associated with degenerative changes in the spinal cord and may develop through primary disruption of ependymal integrity followed by vascular hypertrophy and proliferation. Glial and fibrous proliferation appears to be associated with expression of clinical signs."
Read more at http://bit.ly/nVs5Iy
Clare's blog explains in plain language.........and a little bit of praise
The aims of the study were to describe microscopic changes in the spinal cord of CKCSs with syringomyelia and in particular to compare symptomatic (in pain) and asymptomatic (non painful) dogs.
The histopathology (microscopic changes) of spinal cords from 19 CKCS dogs which had been donated by their owners after death or euthanasia. These were examined for abnormalities by an observer blinded to the identity of the dogs.
Conclusions and significance of findings
- Anomalies of the central canal were found in all specimens.
- Many dogs had grossly visible fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord.
- The lining of the central canal was disrupted – particularly in dogs that showed signs of pain
- There was death of nerve cells (so called Wallerian degeneration)
- There was new blood vessel development and scarring around blood vessels
- Compared with two different samples of the normal dog population, dogs with syrinxes had significantly less grey matter, although this decrease was associated with generalized loss of spinal cord area.
Dogs in pain had more damage to the grey matter (nerve cells). This confirmed what had been suggested before in a MRI study comparing painful and non painful dogs.
There was a marked difference in the appearance or the spinal cord in painful dogs with SM versus non painful dogs with SM. The painful dogs had more scarring (Glial and fibrous proliferation )
The pathology suggested that the primary development of syringomyelia is associated with central canal dilatation and damage which is accompanied by blood vessel changes. This is an important finding because there is so much debate on how syringomyelia develops in all species.
Authors would like to thank Mrs Margaret Carter for her role in the coordination of the tissue collection. Without her valuable support, experience and sensitivity this important research would not have been possible. We would also like to thank all the owners of the donated dogs.
I have blogged about the Cavalier Collection Scheme