Magnetic resonance imaging findings in epileptic cats with a normal interictal neurological examination: 188 cases

Francesca Raimondi, Nadia Shihab, Rodrigo Gutierrez-Quintana, Alex Smith, Raquel Trevail, Daniel Sanchez-Masian, Pete Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Epilepsy is a common neurological condition in dogs and cats. Although an
increased likelihood of significant brain lesions with age has been identified
in neurologically normal dogs with epileptic seizures, the underlying
aetiology of epileptic seizures in cats that present with normal physical and
neurological examinations remains unknown. In this cross – sectional
study, we examined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in a large
population of cats with a normal interictal physical and neurological
examination. We hypothesised that age would have an impact on the
prevalence of detectable lesions.
First, following the guidelines for dogs and in accordance with previous
studies, we divided the cats into three age groups (aged 1 year or
younger, between 1 and 6 and older than 6) and calculated the proportion
of cats with a detectable lesion on MRI in these groups. In the first group,
3/32 cats (9.4%) had significant MRI abnormalities that were all consistent
with congenital malformation; in the second group, only 5/92 (5.4%) MRI
scans were abnormal and in the third group, 15/ 65 (23.1%) cats showed
abnormal findings that were predominantly lesions of neoplastic origin.
Second, to investigate the impact of age further, data were investigated as
a continuous variable using receiver operating characteristic (ROC)
analysis. This indicated an optimal cut off age of 5 years, above which MRI
abnormalities were more likely, with an increase in the odds of a significant
structural lesion increasing by 14% per year.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Record
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017


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