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Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2011 May-Jun;52(3):313-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2010.01769.x. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Imaging diagnosis-magnetic resonance imaging pulsatility artifact in the canine cervical spine.

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Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.


Pulsatile venous flow in the internal vertebral venous plexus of the cervical spine can lead to vertical, linear T2-hyperintensities in the spinal cord at the cranial aspect of C3 and C4 in transverse T2-weighted images in large breed dogs that are not accompanied by ghosting. The artifact is more conspicuous in pre- and postcontrast transverse T1-weighted images and is accompanied by ghosting in that sequence, typical of a pulsatility artifact. A flow-related artifact was confirmed as the cause for this appearance by noting its absence after either exchange of phase and frequency encoding direction or by flow compensation. Care should be exercised to avoid misdiagnosing this pulsatility artifact seen in transverse T2-weighted images of the midcervical spine in large dogs as an intramedullary lesion when T1-images or phase-swap images are not available to confirm its artifactual origin.

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