Demographics, clinical findings and diagnoses of cranial thoracic myelopathies (T1-T6 vertebrae) in cats.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to describe the patient demographics, clinicopathological features and presumptive or final diagnoses in cats with myelopathies between the T1 and T6 vertebrae. METHODS: This retrospective multicentre case study enrolled cases between 2015 and 2022 that were diagnosed with myelopathies between the T1 and T6 vertebrae as the primary cause for the presenting clinical signs. RESULTS: A total of 21 cases matched the inclusion criteria, 13 males (11 castrated and 2 entire) and 8 spayed females (median age 93 months; range 5-192). Most of the cases presented with a chronic and progressive history (76% and 86%, respectively), with a median duration of 29 days (range 1-2880). At the time of presentation, 90% of the cases were localised to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments based on neurological examination. The most common underlying pathology was neoplasia (42.9%), followed by inflammatory (24%), anomalous (19%), degenerative (9.5%) and vascular (4.8%) disorders. The most common location was T3-T4 (29%), followed by T2-T3 and T5-T6 (19% each). The cutaneous trunci reflex was normal in 86% of the cases and most of the cases (71%) did not show spinal discomfort upon admission. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Neoplasia was the most common cause of cranial thoracic myelopathy in this study. The lack of pathognomonic clinical signs for this specific region highlights the importance of assessing the entire thoracolumbar region up to and including at least the T1 vertebra when investigating cases with signs consistent with a T3-L3 myelopathy.
Peer reviewed: True