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Objective: To describe the patterns of enhancement of extradural intervertebral disc on chemically fat saturated gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance images and to investigate the clinical and pathological associations with enhancement.

Methods: Medical records and magnetic resonance images were reviewed from 30 dogs with histopathologically confirmed disc disease and enhancement on a T1-weighted postcontrast fat saturated sequence.

Results: Median duration of neurological signs was 4 days and the most common grade of severity was II, seen in 46·6% of dogs. Homogeneous, heterogeneous and peripheral patterns of disc enhancement were described, with peripheral enhancement most commonly identified (57% of dogs). There were no clinical or pathological differences between the dogs with each of the patterns. The mean signal intensity of a region of interest within the extruded disc material and contrast-to-noise ratio of the disc material were significantly higher on postcontrast T1-weighted fat saturated images (P=<0·0001 each).

Clinical Significance: The use of fat saturated gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging can detect enhancement of extradural disc material. Patterns of enhancement are not associated with the clinical presentation or pathological features.