Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases in veterinary practice. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is regarded as an important diagnostic test to reach the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy. However, given that the diagnosis requires the exclusion of other differentials for seizures, the parameters for MRI examination should allow the detection of subtle lesions which may not be obvious with existing techniques. In addition, there are several differentials for idiopathic epilepsy in humans, for example some focal cortical dysplasias, which may only apparent with special sequences, imaging planes and/or particular techniques used in performing the MRI scan. As a result, there is a need to standardize MRI examination in veterinary patients with techniques that reliably diagnose subtle lesions, identify post-seizure changes, and which will allow for future identification of underlying causes of seizures not yet apparent in the veterinary literature. There is a need for a standardized veterinary epilepsy-specific MRI protocol which will facilitate more detailed examination of areas susceptible to generating and perpetuating seizures, is cost efficient, simple to perform and can be adapted for both low and high field scanners. Standardisation of imaging will improve clinical communication and uniformity of case definition between research studies. A 6-7 sequence epilepsy-specific MRI protocol for veterinary patients is proposed and further advanced MR and functional imaging is reviewed.
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© 2015 Rusbridge et al.