Brain biopsies were taken at the University of Leipzig (Germany). Histopathological examinations of biopsy specimens were performed at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. Postmortem samples were examined at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, and at the University of Bern, Switzerland
Diagnostic Yield and Adverse Effects of MRI-Guided Free-Hand Brain Biopsies through a Mini-Burr Hole in Dogs with Encephalitis
Article first published online: 18 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 969–976, July-August 2012
How to Cite
Flegel, T., Oevermann, A., Oechtering, G. and Matiasek, K. (2012), Diagnostic Yield and Adverse Effects of MRI-Guided Free-Hand Brain Biopsies through a Mini-Burr Hole in Dogs with Encephalitis. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 26: 969–976. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00961.x
- Issue published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 17 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 22 NOV 2011
The diagnosis of encephalitis is usually presumptive based on MRI, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, or both. A definitive diagnosis based on histopathology, however, is required for optimizing treatment strategies.
To investigate the diagnostic yield and adverse effects of minimally invasive brain biopsies in dogs with encephalitis.
Seventeen dogs with suspected encephalitis, based on MR imaging and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.
Retrospective study. Minimally invasive, free-hand brain biopsy specimens were taken from forebrain lesions through a 4-mm burr hole using a Sedan side-cutting needle. Routine histopathological examination was performed. The adverse effects were assessed by MRI evaluations after biopsy procedure (12/17) and by sequential neurological examinations.
The overall diagnostic yield with regard to a specific type of encephalitis was 82%. Encephalitis was evident in an additional 12%, but a specific disease could not be determined. There were no deaths caused by the biopsy procedure itself, but the indirect case fatality rate was 6%. Morbidity was 29%, including stupor, seizures, tetraparesis, hemiparesis, ataxia, and loss of conscious proprioception. All these signs resolved within 3–14 days.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
Minimally invasive brain biopsy in dogs with suspected encephalitis leads to a definite diagnosis in the majority of dogs, allowing for a specific treatment. The advantages of a definite diagnosis outweigh potential case fatality rate and temporary neurological deficits.