Effect of skull type on the relative size of cerebral cortex and lateral ventricles in dogs

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Volume measurements of the brain are of interest in the diagnosis of brain pathology. This is particularly so in the investigation hydrocephalus and canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), both of which result in thinning of the cerebral cortex and enlarged ventricles. Volume assessment can be made using computed tomography or more usually magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). There is, however, some uncertainty in the interpretation of such volume data due to the great variation in skull size and shape seen in dog. In this retrospective study, we examined normal MRI images from 63 dogs < 6 years of age. We used a continuous variable, the cranial index (CrI) to indicate skull shape and compared it with MRI volume measurements derived using Cavalieri's principle. We found a negative correlation between CrI and the ratio of cortical to ventricular volume. Breeds with a high CrI (large laterolateral compared to rostrocaudal cranial cavity dimension) had a smaller ratio of cortical to ventricular volume (low C:V ratio) than breeds with lower CrI skull types. It is important to consider this effect of skull shape on the relative volume estimates of the cerebral cortex and ventricles when trying to establish if pathology is present.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Canine cognitive dysfunction, Cavalieri's principle, Cerebrum, Hydrocephalus, Lateral ventricles, Skull type

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