Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) is the most advanced
diagnostic imaging tool available. This safe, non-invasive
procedure allows more complete viewing of the body than any other
modality. This technology uses no ionizing radiation, such as
x-rays. The patient is placed onto a table surrounded by a powerful
magnet. Minute signals are produced as the body responds to the
magnetic field. These signals are converted to a cross-sectional
image, allowing radiologists and other specialists to look deep
into the body for injury or disease.
The MRI Service performs hundreds of examinations per year on
dogs, cats, and exotic pets. Now seen as the gold standard for
examining the brain and spine, MRI has replaced many of the more
invasive procedures of the past. Common diseases diagnosed include
spinal disk herniation, brain tumors, trauma of the brain and
spine, strokes, and brain malformations. MRI has lead to earlier
and more accurate diagnosis for these and other diseases. Important
advances in the knowledge of spinal cord injury from disk
herniation, infectious and degenerative brain diseases, and brain
tumors have been made by the specialists here at the Veterinary
Medical Teaching Hospital at Texas A&M. Using MRI, specialists
can give more accurate answers to important questions, such as the
likeliness that a patient will walk again following a disk
herniation. This allows owners to make more informed decisions for
their pets and families.
MRI is also a powerful tool for examining the skeleton,
including bone, tendons, ligaments, and joints. As the technology
advances, specialists are finding endless uses for MRI. With the
opening of the Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center
(DICTC) at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Texas
A&M in 2011, we have upgraded to the most powerful magnet
approved for clinical patients. Our 3 Tesla MRI makes us one of
only a handful of veterinary institutions in the country with the
same capabilities. The uses of our MRI include studies of the heart
in motion, tracking of nerve fibers in the brain and spine, and
spectroscopy which allows more definitive typing of brain tumors
without the need for biopsy.
Figure 1. (left) An MRI image of a normal dog brain
Figure 2. (right) An MRI image of a normal dog shoulder
Figure 3. (left) An MRI image of a normal horse brain
Figure 4. (right An MRI image of a normal horse foot
Upper panels: MR images from two dogs with spinal
cord injury due to fibrocartilagenous embolism. This disease
usually results in well demarcated, bright areas (hyperintensities)
within the spinal cord. The dog on the left was imaged with 1T MR
and has a centrally located bright area within the spinal cord
(blue arrow) that is challenging to see. The dog on the right was
imaged at 3T - note the sharp borders surrounding the bright lesion
Lower panels: MR images from two dogs with spinal
cord injury due to disk herniation. The image on the left was
produced with a 1T MRI. There is compressive material (blue arrow)
below the spinal cord that is bright. The dog on the right was
imaged with 3T - note the clarity of the image, how easy it is to
see compressive material (blue arrow) and overlying spinal
3T MRI image of a horse foot. The navicular bone, flexor tendon, coffin bone, and surrounding structures can all be evaluated. Signal from fat has been suppressed, making the bones dark so that bone injuries can be seen.
Interpretation of Referral Images
Our board certified veterinary radiologists offer interpretation of radiographic images made by referring practices. This includes interpretation of the following diagnostic imaging modalities (radiography, CT, and MRI). A radiographic interpretation will be provided, both with telephone and written report, within 1 business day following the receipt of the images and information form.
This service is provided during normal weekday business hours. No afterhours, weekend, or STAT interpretation is currently available.
How to submit a case for interpretation
To submit a case for interpretation, you must first do both of the following:
- Call 979-845-9081 to receive image upload (or delivery) instructions, provide billing information, and receive client-patient information form
- And submit client-patient information form to firstname.lastname@example.org . (Only this email address should be used to submit the form and requests for interpretation.) Please include the DVM’s name and Hospital into the subject line.
Interpretation can only proceed following receipt of billing information (referring DVM), client information, and patient information (including signalment and pertinent history).
Images transferred in DICOM format are preferred. TIFF and JPEG images can be submitted but may be of lesser diagnostic quality. (No smaller than 150 DPI, Pixels/inch)
- Radiographic Interpretation (<10 Images): $68
- Radiographic Interpretation (≥ 10 images): $80.00
- MRI/CT Interpretations= $100.00 for primary area (i.e. spine, thorax, abdomen, head, pelvis, limb; post-contrast images included), $50 for each secondary area.