The Use of Fiberoptic Spinal Endoscopy as a New Technique for the Diagnosis of Spinal Canal Disorders in Dogs
Small animal educational centre Merkurpark, Hamburg-Rahlstedt, Germany.
In spite of the huge development of the diagnostic imaging of the spine with contrast radiography, CT and MRI, there are still some pathological lesions which can not be detected.
Our new technique fiberoptic flexible epiduroscopy was used in the diagnosis of pathological lesions in the spinal canal from the lumbosacral space to the cisterna magnum.
This study was performed on 27 dogs of different breeds and sexes suffering from back pain and/or motor incoordination.
The dog is positioned in ventral recumbency and after aseptic preparation of the lumbosacral region a 17-gauge Toughy needle is inserted into the lumbosacral canal and advanced cranially. A lateral fluoroscopic projection confirms the placement of the needle inside the canal. Sulotrast 300 (non ionic contrast) is injected and followed by dorsoventral fluoroscopy. This outlines the epidural anatomy (epidurography). The fiberoptic cable is passed through the introducer. The epidural space is distended with 10ml of normal saline. The fiberoptic cable is introduced into the epidural space slowly and the contents of the epidural space could be identified.
The endoscopic findings: 12 cases with dural adhesions, 6 cases with epidural veins thickness and disc protrusion, 5 cases with epidural fibrosis and 4 cases with ligamentum flavum hypertrophy and spinal canal stenosis.
Spinal endoscopy allows direct viewing of the content of the spinal canal in real colour and actual activity in comparison to the results obtained from other diagnostic images.
The use of flexible spinal endoscopy under the control of fluoroscopy opens a new diagnostic modality for spinal canal disorders in dogs and human beings. It is considered to be superior to contrast radiography, CT and MRI in some cases.
Fluoroscopy plays a great role in the direction of the epiduroscope and its movement to the target place.
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