Knowing feline skull shape can reduce MRI false positives

How do you differentiate between a feline head injury and an odd-shaped feline skull? A new study offers some insights.

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and International Cat Care and the Animal Health Trust in the United Kingdom concluded that recognizing morphological variations in the feline cerebellum and occipital bone can avoid false positive diagnoses of raised intracranial pressure and pathological herniation on MRIs.

The study was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery on Nov. 8.

The researchers reviewed imaging records of 14 breeds at the Animal Health Trust’s animal clinic between 2000-2013 to identify adult cats that had undergone high-field (1.5 T) MRI investigation, including the brain and excluding evidence of intracranial disease or the presence of cervical syringomyelia.

Forty percent of those reviewed had a cerebellar shape consistent with crowding of the contents of the caudal fossa, or herniation through the foramen magnum. Persians had a higher proportion of cerebellar crowding or herniation than all other breeds.

There was no significant difference in the distribution of occipital bone morphology between the breed groups.

Photo credit: © iStock/Mikhail Melnikau

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