Yuya Nakamoto, Gentarou Tsujimoto, Akito Ikemoto, Koichi Omori, Tatsuo Nakamura

July 2021, pp 1 - 8 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06931-z

First Online: 20 July 2021


This study aimed to investigate the histopathological changes that occur within 2 weeks following spinal cord injury (SCI) in dogs.


Eight adult female Beagle dogs were included in this study, and SCI was induced using an epidural balloon catheter. Two dogs were killed at each of the following four time points: immediately after the procedure and 1 day, 1 week, and 2 weeks after the procedure. Neurological status was evaluated with five categories. Histopathological changes were visually observed for stained sections of formalin-fixed spinal cord to evaluate hemorrhage, spongiosis, necrosis, and gliosis morphologically.


Along the 2 weeks post-injury, severe hemorrhage was observed at the primary injury site, the average diameter of which expanded quickly from 8 to 10 mm in 1 day and then decreased to 5 mm in 1 week. This indicates that the bleeding cavity expanded at the initial injury site to produce ascending and descending hemorrhage. The hemorrhage at the injury site resolved in 2 weeks. In contrast, spongiosis, parenchymal necrosis, and gliosis were first inconspicuous or mild and then became severe in 1 week or 2 weeks. Hemorrhage, hematoma, and other similar changes occurred at the regions approximately 20-mm rostral and caudal to the primary injury site. These changes were observed in both gray matter and white matter.


This study is the first to assess the sequential histopathological changes in the acute and intermediate phases following SCI in dogs. Our findings enhance the usefulness of the canine intervertebral disk disease model in the assessment of secondary spinal cord histopathology in human SCI.

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