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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2012 Sep-Oct;48(5):359-65. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5796. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

Gliomatosis cerebri in two dogs.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.


A 3.5 yr old Saint Bernard was evaluated for nonambulatory tetraparesis and cranial nerve dysfunction, and a 7 yr old rottweiler was evaluated for progressive paraparesis. Clinical signs of left-sided vestibular and general proprioceptive ataxia and cranial nerve VII dysfunction in the Saint Bernard suggested a lesion affecting the brain stem. Signs in the rottweiler consisted of general proprioceptive/upper motor neuron paraparesis, suggesting a lesion involving the third thoracic (T3) to third lumbar (L3) spinal cord segments. MRI was normal in the Saint Bernard, but an intra-axial lesion involving the T13-L2 spinal cord segments was observed in the rottweiler. In both dogs, the central nervous system (CNS) contained neoplastic cells with features consistent with gliomatosis cerebri (GC). In the Saint Bernard, neoplastic cells were present in the medulla oblongata and cranial cervical spinal cord. In the rottweiler, neoplastic cells were only present in the spinal cord. Immunohistochemistry disclosed two distinct patterns of CD18, nestin, and vimentin staining. GC is a rarely reported tumor of the CNS. Although GC typically involves the cerebrum, clinical signs in these two dogs reflected caudal brainstem and spinal cord involvement.

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