Article Text

Fibrocartilaginous embolism and marked cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis in a dog
  1. Andre Kortum1 and
  2. Paul Freeman2
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andre Kortum; ak974{at}


A three-year-old Basset Griffon Vendeen was presented for peracute-onset paraplegia. MRI of the lumbar spinal cord confirmed marked intramedullary hyperintensity, and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid identified marked neutrophilic pleocytosis and increased protein concentration. An inflammatory aetiology was therefore considered possible despite imaging and history being more consistent with a diagnosis of fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE). No neurological improvement occurred following appropriate treatment, and postmortem examination later confirmed numerous fibrocartilaginous emboli with marked, multifocal myelomalacia. This is the first case report to document marked cerebrospinal pleocytosis in a canine patient with FCE, and highlights that such changes should be interpreted with caution and not used to distinguish between vascular and inflammatory aetiologies.

  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • pleocytosis
  • fibrocartilagenous embolism
  • canine
  • myelomalacia

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  • Contributors Both authors were involved with the clinical management of this case, the drafting and revision of the article, and the final approval of the version to be submitted for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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