Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging in a naturally occurring canine model of spinal cord injury

J. F. Griffin, M. C. Davis, Jim Ji, N. D. Cohen, B. D. Young, J. M. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Study design:Retrospective cohort study.Objectives:To analyze magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluator agreement in dogs with spinal cord injury (SCI) caused by intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH) using semiautomated and manual lesion segmentation and to analyze the associations between MRI and functional outcome.Setting:United States of America.Methods:T2-weighted MRIs from dogs with SCI resulting from thoracolumbar IVDH were identified from a database. Evaluators categorized MRIs on the basis of the presence or absence of a T2-hyperintense spinal cord lesion in axial and sagittal images. A semiautomated segmentation algorithm was developed and used to estimate the lesion volume. Agreement between evaluators and between semiautomated and manual segmentation was analyzed. The relationships of qualitative and quantitative MRIs with behavioral functional outcome were analyzed.Results:Axial images more commonly depicted lesions compared with sagittal images. Lesions in axial images had more consistent associations with functional outcome compared with sagittal images. There was imperfect qualitative agreement, and lesion volume estimation was imprecise. However, there was improved precision using semiautomated segmentation compared with manual segmentation.Conclusion:Lesion volume estimation in dogs with naturally occurring SCI caused by IVDH is challenging, and axial images have important advantages compared with sagittal images. The semiautomated segmentation algorithm described herein shows promise but may require further refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Griffin, J. F., Davis, M. C., Ji, J., Cohen, N. D., Young, B. D., & Levine, J. M. (2015). Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging in a naturally occurring canine model of spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord, 53(4), 278-284. https://doi.org/10.1038/sc.2014.244