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Research Note: MRI for Spinal Cord & Soft Tissue Injury Evaluation


|August 2020

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Although CT is considered the gold standard for detecting vertebral fractures, human studies have suggested that MRI may be used as a single modality to evaluate spinal cord and soft tissue injuries in addition to vertebral fractures. In this study of 128 vertebrae in 33 dogs, only moderate agreement between 2 expert observers was achieved when evaluating vertebral fractures using MRI, although agreement was substantial with structurally unstable fractures. Fractures in the transverse process were particularly more likely to be missed. It was concluded that MRI is a poor modality for assessing fracture morphology and that, although MRI may be useful for detecting unstable fractures, it should not replace CT for complete evaluation when this modality is available.


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