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01004: Syringomyelia in the Brussels Griffon: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings, Clinicopathology, and Prevalence

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $140,482.41
Dr. Marc Kent, DVM, University of Georgia
April 1, 2008 - September 30, 2012
Sponsor(s): American Brussels Griffon Association, American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust, Griffon Bruxellois Breeders Association, Griffon Bruxellois Club of Victoria
Breed(s): Brussels Griffon
Disease(s): Syringomyelia
Research Program Area: Neurology


Background: Syringomyelia (SM) has emerged as a common spinal cord abnormality in small breed dogs. 11 Syringomyelia, characterized by the development of fluid filled spinal cord cavitations or syrinxes, is associated with a syndrome of severe pain and weakness. Certain breeds are predisposed to SM, most notably the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS). In the CKCS, SM is associated with a condition referred to as a Chiari-like malformation (CM), which is a developmental abnormality of the skull. As a result of the skull malformation, part of the cerebellum and the brainstem may be compressed leading to an alteration in the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and mild inflammation in the central nervous system. It is hypothesized that these abnormalities contribute to the development of SM. Recently, SM has been diagnosed in Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) dogs in North America, Europe and Australia. Objective: The researchers' hypothesis is that a subpopulation of the Brussels Griffon (BG) dog breed is affected by SM. Their goals are to identify the prevalence of SM in BG; to delineate clinical signs and spinal fluid abnormalities in BG with SM; and to utilize MRI to define structural abnormalities associated with SM in the BG breed.
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