01037-A: The Accuracy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the Diagnosis of Meniscal Lesions in Dogs with Naturally Occurring Cranial Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,765
Tisha Harper, DVM; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
October 1, 2007 - March 31, 2009

Sponsor(s): American Shetland Sheepdog Association, Clumber Spaniel Club of America, Great Dane Club of America, Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust, Labrador Retriever Club, Siberian Husky Club of America

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
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Project Summary

Medial meniscal injury is commonly associated with the stifle instability that results from cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency in dogs. A reliable diagnostic tool is needed to assess the menisci. While gross tears or disintegration are readily detectable during arthrotomy or arthroscopy, intrasubstance degeneration is not. Meniscal injury following stabilization of the canine stifle following cranial cruciate ligament rupture has been reported and this has been thought to be related to either continued instability in the stifle and / or meniscal pathology that may not have been recognized during the initial surgery. These injuries are also difficult to diagnose postoperatively without a second-look procedure. This research has found that low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an accurate imaging method for diagnosing meniscal degeneration in dogs with naturally occurring cruciate insufficiency and that high quality images can be obtained with low-field MRI. It also found that dogs with grossly normal menisci and without radiographic or clinical evidence of stifle pathology may have meniscal degeneration which can be detected by MRI. These findings underscore the importance of a non-invasive test that can be used preoperatively and post stabilization for detecting meniscal pathology.


Harper, T. A. M., Jones, J. C., Saunders, G. K., Daniel, G. B., Leroith, T., & Rossmeissl, E. (2011). Sensitivity of Low-Field T2* Images for Detecting the Presence and Severity of Histopathologic Meniscal Lesions in Dogs. Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 52(4), 428–435. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8261.2011.01818.x

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