Clinical Features, Imaging Characteristics, and Long-term Outcome of Dogs with Cranial Meningocele or Meningoencephalocele

K. Lazzerini, R. Gutierrez-Quintana, R. José-López, F. McConnell, R. Gonçalves, J. McMurrough, S. De Decker, C. Muir, S. L. Priestnall, L. Mari, F. Stabile, L. De Risio, C. Loeffler, A. Tauro, C. Rusbridge, S. Rodenas, S. Añor, C. de la Fuente, A. Fischer, A. BruehschweinJ. Penderis, J. Guevar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Background: The term meningoencephalocele (MEC) describes a herniation of cerebral tissue and meninges through a defect in the cranium, whereas a meningocele (MC) is a herniation of the meninges alone. Hypothesis/Objectives: To describe the clinical features, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics, and outcomes of dogs with cranial MC and MEC. Animals: Twenty-two client-owned dogs diagnosed with cranial MC or MEC. Methods: Multicentric retrospective descriptive study. Clinical records of 13 institutions were reviewed. Signalment, clinical history, neurologic findings and MRI characteristics as well as treatment and outcome were recorded and evaluated. Results: Most affected dogs were presented at a young age (median, 6.5 months; range, 1 month – 8 years). The most common presenting complaints were seizures and behavioral abnormalities. Intranasal MEC was more common than parietal MC. Magnetic resonance imaging identified meningeal enhancement of the protruded tissue in 77% of the cases. Porencephaly was seen in all cases with parietal MC. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis identified mild abnormalities in 4 of 11 cases. Surgery was not performed in any affected dog. Seventeen patients were treated medically, and seizures were adequately controlled with anti-epileptic drugs in 10 dogs. Dogs with intranasal MEC and mild neurologic signs had a fair prognosis with medical treatment. Conclusion and clinical importance: Although uncommon, MC and MEC should be considered as a differential diagnosis in young dogs presenting with seizures or alterations in behavior. Medical treatment is a valid option with a fair prognosis when the neurologic signs are mild.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-512
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Cerebral malformation
  • Cranioschisis
  • Porencephaly
  • Seizures


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