• Open Access

Canine Intraspinal Meningiomas: Imaging Features, Histopathologic Classification, and Long-Term Outcome in 34 Dogs


  • Presented in part as an abstract at the 24th Annual American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Louisville, KY, May 25–28, 2006.

Corresponding author: Dr Beverly K. Sturges, DVM, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8747; e-mail: bksturges@vmth.ucdavis.edu.


Background: Meningioma is the most common primary intraspinal nervous system tumor in dogs. Clinical findings, clinicopathologic data, and treatment of these tumors have been reported sporadically, but little information is available regarding cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, histologic tumor grade, or efficacy of radiation therapy as an adjunct to cytoreductive surgery.

Animals: Dogs with histologically confirmed intraspinal meningiomas (n = 34).

Methods: A retrospective study of dogs with intraspinal meningiomas between 1984 and 2006 was carried out. Signalment, historical information, physical examination, clinicopathologic data, radiation therapy protocols, surgery reports, and all available images were reviewed. All tumors were histologically classified and graded as defined by the international World Health Organization classification scheme for central nervous system tumors.

Results: Intraspinal mengiomas in dogs are most common in the cervical spinal cord but can be found throughout the neuraxis. Location is correlated with histologic grade, with grade I tumors more likely to be in the cervical region than grade II tumors. Myelography generally shows an intradural extramedullary compressive lesion. On magnetic resonance imaging, the masses are strongly and uniformly contrast enhancing and a dural tail often is present. CSF analysis usually shows increased protein concentration with mild to moderate mixed pleocytosis. Surgical resection is an effective means of improving neurologic status, and adjunctive radiation therapy may lead to an improved outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Biopsy is necessary for definitive diagnosis, but imaging and CSF analysis can suggest a diagnosis of meningioma. Treatment of meningiomas with surgery and radiation therapy can result in a fair to excellent prognosis.