Intracranial extension of retrobulbar blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitidis) in a dog. Academic Article uri icon


  • Blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitidis) is a fungal disease that is endemic in the southern United States. This case report illustrates the clinical, MRI and histopathologic findings in a dog with invasion of a retrobulbar blastomycotic lesion into the calvarium. A 5-year-old intact female Weimaraner was referred for a 2-month history of change in behavior and recent onset of visual deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination revealed a large (5.8 2.0 2.5 cm) mass extending from the left orbit through a circular defect in the left cranioventral aspect of the calvarium caudally to the level of the pituitary fossa and interthalamic adhesion. The mass was heterogeneously iso- to hypointense on T2-W images, slightly hypointense on T1-W images, did not attenuate on fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images, and did not show evidence of susceptibility artifact on T2*-W gradient recalled echo (GRE) images. Vasogenic edema and associated mass effect were noted. The mass showed strong homogeneous contrast enhancement with well-defined margins and had thickening of the adjacent meninges (dural tail sign). Based on MRI findings a malignant neoplastic process was considered most likely and the patient was placed on oral prednisone to decrease peri-tumoral inflammation. The dog initially improved but was euthanized 3weeks later for worsening clinical signs. Histopathologic assessment of the mass revealed marked pyogranulomatous optic neuritis with intralesional fungal yeasts consistent with blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitidis). To our knowledge this is the first report of invasion of a retrobulbar blastomycotic lesion into the calvarium in a dog.

published proceedings

  • Vet Ophthalmol

author list (cited authors)

  • Baron, M. L., Hecht, S., Westermeyer, H. D., Mankin, J. M., Novak, J. M., & Donnell, R. L.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • January 2011