Advanced Neuroimaging in the Feline Brain

Structural MRI is the current gold standard for imaging cats presenting with neurological disease. Although these routine MRI techniques provide information as to the brain’s macrostructure and the degree of contrast enhancement of tissues, these provide largely qualitative (i.e. subjective) evaluations of disease, and rarely result in a definitive diagnosis for the cause of neurologic signs. In the human medical field, advanced MRI techniques have been developed to overcome some of these challenges, enabling assessment of the brain’s microstructure, plasticity, molecular structure, physiology, and flow dynamics. When applied to the diseased brain, these techniques routinely assist in diagnosing, grading, and predicting long-term outcome, and can aid in biopsy and surgical planning. These techniques have recently begun to be adapted for use in veterinary medicine, with initial studies having focused on imaging the canine brain. In contrast, only a small subset of these techniques has been used in cats, primarily to image induced pathology in the research setting, with limited clinical application. In this study aim to demonstrate the utility of these techniques in the evaluation of the normal feline brain with a long-term goal of improving the diagnosis and evaluation of feline neurological disease in the veterinary clinical setting.

 

Funding: Cornell Feline Health Center

More information: Cornell Feline Health Center Research 

Publications: Normal Diffusivity of the Domestic Feline Brain