Prognostic Factors in Canine Acute Intervertebral Disc Disease.
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Knowledge of the prognosis of acute spinal cord injury is critical to provide appropriate information for clients and make the best treatment choices. Acute intervertebral disc extrusions (IVDE) are a common cause of pain and paralysis in dogs with several types of IVDE occurring. Important prognostic considerations are recovery of ambulation, return of urinary and fecal continence, resolution of pain and, on the negative side, development of progressive myelomalacia. Initial injury severity affects prognosis as does type of IVDE, particularly when considering recovery of continence. Overall, loss of deep pain perception signals a worse outcome. When considering Hansen type 1 IVDE, the prognosis is altered by the choice of surgical vs. medical therapy. Concentration of structural proteins in the plasma, as well as inflammatory mediators, creatine kinase, and myelin basic protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can provide additional prognostic information. Finally, cross-sectional area and length of T2 hyperintensity and loss of HASTE signal on MRI have been associated with outcome. Future developments in plasma and imaging biomarkers will assist in accurate prognostication and optimization of patient management.