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Influence of Durotomy on Laser-Doppler Measurement of Spinal Cord Blood Flow in Chondrodystrophic Dogs with Thoracolumbar Disk Extrusion


  • Andrea Blaser DVM,

  • Johann Lang DVM, Diplomate ECVDI,

  • Diana Henke DVM,

  • Marcus G. Doherr DVM, PhD, Diplomate ECVPH,

  • Chiara Adami DVM, PhD,

  • Franck Forterre DVM, Diplomate ECVS

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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Corresponding Author

F. Forterre, DVM, Diplomate ECVS,

Department of Surgery, Small Animal Clinic, University of Bern, Länggasse 128, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland




To assess influence of durotomy on spinal cord blood flow (SCBF) in chondrodystrophic dogs with thoracolumbar disk extrusion.

Study design

Prospective cohort study.


Chondrodystrophic dogs with thoracolumbar disk extrusion (n = 11).


Diagnosis was based on neurologic signs, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, and surgical confirmation. Regional SCBF was measured 3 times intraoperatively by laser-Doppler flowmetry: (1) before surgical decompression; (2) immediately after decompression by hemilaminectomy-durotomy; and (3) after 15 minutes of lesion lavage. A standardized hemilaminectomy and durotomy performed by the same neurosurgeon, was used to minimize factors that could influence measurement readings.


A significant increase in intraoperative SCBF was found immediately after spinal cord decompression and durotomy in dogs but SCBF returned to previous levels or lower after 15 minutes of lavage. Changes in SCBF were not associated with duration of clinical signs; neurologic status, degree of spinal cord compression, or signal intensity changes as assessed by MRI.


Durotomy does not increase SCBF in dogs with disk extrusion associated spinal cord compression.

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