Comparison of the endocranial- and brain volumes in brachycephalic dogs, mesaticephalic dogs and Cavalier King Charles spaniels in relation to their body weight
BACKGROUND: A number of studies have attempted to quantify the relative volumes of the endocranial volume and brain parenchyma in association with the pathogenesis of the Chiari-like malformation (CLM) in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS). In our study we examine the influence of allometric scaling of the brain and cranial cavity volume on ... morphological parameters in different dog breeds. MRI scans of 110 dogs (35 mesaticephalic dogs, 35 brachycephalic dogs, 20 CKCSs with SM, and 20 CKCSs without SM) have been used to create 3-dimensional volumetric models of skull and brain parts. Volumes were related to body weight calculating the adjusted means for different breeds. RESULTS: There was a strong global dependency of all volumes to body weight (P<0.0001). The adjusted means of the absolute and relative volumes of brain parenchyma and cranial compartments are not significantly larger in CKCSs in comparison to brachycephalic and mesaticephalic dogs. A difference in absolute or relative volumes between CKCSs with and without SM after relating these values to body weight could not be identified. The relative volume of the hindbrain parenchyma (caudal fossa parenchyma percentage) was larger in brachycephalic dogs than in CKCSs, without causing herniation or SM. CONCLUSION: An influence of body weight exist in dogs, which can be sufficiently large to render conclusions on the difference in volumes of the brain and skull unsafe unless some account of the body weight is taken in the analysis. The results of this study challenge the role of overcrowding for the development of SM in dogs.