Use of magnetic resonance imaging–guided biopsy of a vertebral body mass to diagnose osteosarcoma in a Rottweiler

Rebecca A. Krimins, Jan Fritz, Larry A. Gainsburg, Patrick R. Gavin, Elizabeth A. Ihms, David L. Huso, Dara L. Kraitchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


CASE DESCRIPTION A 9-year-old spayed female Rottweiler with hind limb ataxia was examined because of anorexia and an acute onset of hind limb paresis. CLINICAL FINDINGS Neurologic evaluation revealed hind limb ataxia and symmetric paraparesis with bilaterally abnormal hind limb postural reactions including hopping, hemiwalking, hemistanding, and delayed proprioception, which were suggestive of a lesion somewhere in the T3-L3 segment of the spinal cord. Thoracolumbar radiography revealed an abnormal radiopacity suggestive of a mass at T11. Two 3.5-cm-long osseous core biopsy specimens of the mass were obtained by MRI guidance. Histologic appearance of the specimens was consistent with osteosarcoma. TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The owners of the dog declined further treatment owing to a poor prognosis. The dog was euthanized within 12 months after diagnosis because of a declining quality of life. CLINICAL RELEVANCE The acquisition of biopsy specimens by MRI guidance is an emerging technique in veterinary medicine. As evidenced by the dog of this report, MRI-guided biopsy can be used to safely obtain diagnostic biopsy specimens from tissues at anatomic locations that are difficult to access. This technique can potentially be used to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of disease, which could improve patient outcome. The MRI guidance technique described may also be useful for local administration of chemotherapeutics or radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation of various neoplasms of the vertebral column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-784
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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