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Keywords:

  • brain;
  • dog;
  • imaging;
  • neoplasia

Astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas represent one third of histologically confirmed canine brain tumors. Our purpose was to describe the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging features of histologically confirmed canine intracranial astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas and to examine for MR features that differentiate these tumor types. Thirty animals with confirmed astrocytoma (14) or oligodendroglioma (16) were studied. All oligodendrogliomas and 12 astrocytomas were located in the cerebrum or thalamus, with the remainder of astrocytomas in the cerebellum or caudal brainstem. Most (27/30) tumors were associated with both gray and white matter. The signal characteristics of both tumor types were hypointense on T1-weighted images (12 each) and hyperintense on T2-weighted images (11/14 astrocytomas, 12/16 oligodendrogliomas). For astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, respectively, common findings were contrast enhancement (10/13, 11/15), ring-like contrast enhancement (6/10, 9/11), cystic regions within the mass (7/14, 12/16), and hemorrhage (4/14, 6/16). Oligodendrogliomas were significantly more likely to contact the brain surface (meninges) than astrocytomas (14/16, 7/14, respectively, P=0.046). Contact with the lateral ventricle was the most common finding, occurring in 13/14 astrocytomas and 14/16 oligodendrogliomas. No MR features were identified that reliably distinguished between these two tumor types. Contrast enhancement was more common in high-grade tumors (III or IV) than low-grade tumors (II, P=0.008).