MRI and CT

MRI scanning is becoming increasingly used and recognised in veterinary medicine. In some instances conventional x-ray is just not enough to be confident with a diagnosis.

We have recently teamed up with Burgess Diagnostics, the leading provider of 1.5T mobile MRI scanning facilities to the veterinary profession, to be able to offer this service to our clients, and those of neighbouring practices. The lorry is staffed by an experienced radiographer and each vehicle is also equipped with anaesthetic and monitoring equipment for us to ensure your pet is well looked after at all times.


Our MRI truck now comes every 4 weeks on a Wednesday – please contact us if you would like to arrange a scan. Our 2017 dates are listed below:

Wednesday

29th March 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

26th April 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

24th May 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

21st June 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

19th July 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

16th August 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

13th September 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

11th October 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

8th November 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

Wednesday

6th December 2017

Capontree Vets, Longtown

To book an MRI scan please email mri@capontreevets.co.uk with your contact details and preferred date or click here to download the MRI Request Form and drop in at the surgery.


As an example of what can be achieved with MRI, the dog shown below had a persistent right back leg lameness but no obvious bony cause. MRI revealed a change consistent with a foreign body sticking into the muscles of the back leg (arrowed), causing the pain:

At surgery a large piece of stick was found sticking out from the intestine and was successfully removed:

This diagnosis would not have been possible without MRI, as wood does not show on normal x-ray. Please discuss with your vet if you think your pet might benefit from an MRI scan.

Click here to download more information on our MRI facility

Choosing MRI or CT

Region

MRI

CT

Abdomen

MRI can be used, but requires special sequences and expertise.

In the future MR may be used more for the characterization of abdominal masses and nodules in veterinary patients.

CT is the current modality of choice providing good quality images and being much easier to perform.

Elbow & Hock

MRI may also be used and could provide additional information concerning bone oedema and Cartilage pathology.

CT usually recommended.

Complimentary to arthroscopy in elbow disease.

Shoulder & Stifle

MRI preferred—great potential for assessment of muscular, tendinous, ligamentous and meniscal injury.

CT reserved for osseous disease.

General Skeleton

MRI advantageous in neoplastic disease (such as mandibular or maxillary tumours).

CT useful for angular limb deformities, fracture repair planning.

Patients with Metallic implants

In MRI non-ferrous implants may be placed into the magnet, but can create serious artefacts and hence non-diagnostic studies. The magnitude of these artefacts differs depending on the MR sequence used.

The artefacts identified on CT examinations in patients with metallic implants can also prevent interpretation, but on occasion the gantry can be angled to avoid the metallic region and certain slices and reconstructions can limit their effect on the final image.

CNS

Imaging modality of choice for CNS. Specific additional MRI sequences can be very useful – these include radient echo sequences (haemorrhage), diffusion weighted imaging (ischaemic disease), FLAIR sequences (perilesional oedema and identification of pure fluid), and STIR sequences (to evaluate muscle, bone and nerve root changes).

CT myelography is necessary to identify significant sites of spinal cord compression. Intramedullary lesions are better recognized on MRI without the inherent risks of myelography. Use CT alone to diagnose brain disease ONLY if MRI is not available. Not generally suitable for assessment of foramen magnum herniation.

Nasal Cavities & Sinuses

Both CT and MRI are extremely useful in assessment of the nasal cavities and frontal sinuses. Effective in the assessment of turbinate, maxillary and palatine destruction, mass lesions, presence of fluid, osteomyelitis, and contrast enhancing lesions.

Both CT and MRI are extremely useful in assessment of the nasal cavities and frontal sinuses. Effective in the assessment of turbinate, maxillary and palatine destruction, mass lesions, presence of fluid, osteomyelitis, and contrast enhancing lesions.

External, middle & Inner Ears

CT and MRI both able to detect the fluid or mass lesions within the tympanic bulla and external ear canal, sclerosis or erosion of the bulla wall, associated retropharyngeal or para-aural lesions and regional lymphadenopathy. MRI allows assessment of cranial nerves VII and VIII, the cochlea and semicircular canals and the adjacent brainstem.

CT and MRI both able to detect the fluid or mass lesions within the tympanic bulla and external ear canal, sclerosis or erosion of the bulla wall, associated retropharyngeal or para-aural lesions and regional lymphadenopathy.

Thorax

MRI can be used for thoracic imaging in some situations. Useful for mediastinal masses, thoracic wall masses and the pleural space disease. Respiratory and cardiac gating techniques are usually required.

CT definitely the modality of choice.

Superior metastatic screening when compared to radiographs.

Pelvic Region

Both CT and MRI suited to evaluation of the pelvic region.

Both CT and MRI suited to evaluation of the pelvic region.