Canine intracranial gliomas: Relationship between magnetic resonance imaging criteria and tumor type and grade

R. T. Bentley, C. P. Ober, K. L. Anderson, D. A. Feeney, J. F. Naughton, J. R. Ohlfest, M. G. O'Sullivan, M. A. Miller, P. D. Constable, G. E. Pluhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Limited information is available to assist in the ante-mortem prediction of tumor type and grade for dogs with primary brain tumors. The objective of the current study was to identify magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) criteria related to the histopathological type and grade of gliomas in dogs. A convenience sample utilizing client-owned dogs (n= 31) with gliomas was used. Medical records of dogs with intracranial lesions admitted to two veterinary referral hospitals were reviewed and cases with a complete brain MRI and definitive histopathological diagnosis were retrieved for analysis. Each MRI was independently interpreted by five investigators who were provided with standardized grading instructions and remained blinded to the histopathological diagnosis. Mild to no contrast enhancement, an absence of cystic structures (single or multiple), and a tumor location other than the thalamo-capsular region were independently associated with grade II tumors compared to higher grade tumors. In comparison to oligodendrogliomas, astrocytomas were independently associated with the presence of moderate to extensive peri-tumoral edema, a lack of ventricular distortion, and an isointense or hyper-intense T1W-signal. When clinical and MRI features indicate that a glioma is most likely, certain MRI criteria can be used to inform the level of suspicion for low tumor grade, particularly poor contrast enhancement. Information obtained from the MRI of such dogs can also assist in predicting an astrocytoma or an oligodendroglioma, but no single imaging characteristic allows for a particular tumor type to be ruled out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Matthew Hunt MD for assistance in obtaining surgical biopsies from some of the cases used in this study. We would also like to thank Dr. Annette Litster for reviewing the manuscript. Work was supported, in part, by American Cancer Society RSG-09-189-01-LIB (Ohlfest) and National Institute of Health R21 NS070955 (Ohlfest). Portions of this study were presented at the 2012 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, New Orleans, LA.

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain
  • Dog
  • Glioma
  • Imaging
  • Oligodendroglioma


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