Associations between cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and long-term neurologic outcome in dogs with acute intervertebral disk herniation. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between CSF biomarkers, initial neurologic dysfunction, and long-term ambulatory outcome in dogs with acute intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH). DESIGN: Prospective clinical study. ANIMALS: 54 dogs with acute thoracolumbar IVDH and 16 clinically normal dogs. PROCEDURES: For each dog, variables, including CSF myelin basic protein (MBP), lactate, calcium, glucose, and total protein concentrations; nucleated cell count; and creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase activities, were measured. For dogs with thoracolumbar IVDH, initial neurologic function was characterized by use of a modified Frankel score (MFS; determined on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 represented paraplegia with no deep nociception and 5 represented paraspinal hyperesthesia only). Long-term follow-up was assessed. RESULTS: Among dogs with thoracolumbar IVDH, those with CSF CK activity 38 U/L had a 35-fold increase in the odds of long-term ambulation, compared with the odds in dogs with CSF CK activity > 38 U/L, adjusting for neurologic functioning at the evaluation. The CSF lactate, calcium, and glucose concentrations and aspartate aminotransferase activity were not predictive of long-term ambulatory outcome. Data analysis revealed that long-term functional recovery was > 98% for affected dogs, regardless of their initial MFS, when CSF CK activity was 38 U/L and MBP concentration was 3 ng/mL. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In dogs with acute thoracolumbar IVDH, CSF CK activity and MBP concentration appeared to be prognostic indicators and, along with initial MFS, can be used to predict long-term ambulatory outcome.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Witsberger, T. H., Levine, J. M., Fosgate, G. T., Slater, M. R., Kerwin, S. C., Russell, K. E., & Levine, G. J.

complete list of authors

  • Witsberger, Tige H||Levine, Jonathan M||Fosgate, Geoffrey T||Slater, Margaret R||Kerwin, Sharon C||Russell, Karen E||Levine, Gwendolyn J

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM