A comparative study between high-definition volumetric imaging computed tomography and multi-slice computed tomography in the detection of acute thoraco-lumbar disc extrusions in dogs
Computed tomography (CT) is commonly used to image intervertebral disc extrusion (IVDE) in dogs. The current gold standard for CT imaging is the use of multi-slice CT (MS CT) units. Smaller high-definition volumetric imaging (HDVI) mobile CT has
been marketed for veterinary practice. This unit is described as an advanced flat panel. The goal of this manuscript was to evaluate the ability of the HDVI CT in detecting IVDE without the need for CT myelography, compared with the detection of acute disc extrusions with a MS CT without the need for MS CT myelogram. Retrospective blinded analyses of 219 dogs presented for thoraco-lumbar IVDE that had a HDVI CT (n = 123) or MS CT (n = 96) were performed at a single referral hospital. A total of 123 cases had HDVI CT scans with surgically confirmed IVDE. The IVDE was identified in 88/123 (72%) dogs on pre-contrast HDVI CT. The remaining 35/128 (28%) cases required a HDVI CT myelogram to identify the IVDE. Ninety-six cases had MS CT scans with surgically confirmed IVDE. The IVDE was identified in 78/96 (81%) dogs on the pre-contrast MS CT. The remaining 18/96 (19%) cases had a MS CT myelogram to identify the IVDE. Multi-slice CT detected IVDE significantly more than HDVI CT (p = 0.032). This study showed that the ability of HDVI CT for detecting IVDE is lower than that of MS CT. The HDVI CT system may be useful in smaller referral practices, with a lower case load where space is limited. Keywords: computed tomography; volumetric imaging; intervertebral disc disease; disc extrusion; multi-slice computed tomography.