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Chiari-like Malformations and Syringomyelia

MRI of the brain and spinal cord of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with CM/SM.

Chiari like malformations and syringomyelia (CM/SM) are a common problem in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) causing severe neuropathic pain.

The morphometry of the skull has been examined in detail and the development of clinical signs and syringomyelia has been correlated to reduced caudal fossa to cranial cavity volume ratios and stenosis of the jugular foramen respectively. There is evidence this disorder is a complex hereditary trait, but attempts to identify genetic causes have been hampered by assigning an affected or normal phenotype. Use of quantitative data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will allow us to perform a more appropriate genetic analysis of this important and common disease.