ISSN 2398-2969      

Spine: butterfly vertebrae

icanis
Contributor(s):

Laurent Garosi

Synonym(s): Congenital spine anomaly


Introduction

  • Cause: abnormal vertebral development mostly seen in brachycephalic, screw-tailed breeds.
  • Signs: rarely clinically significant, incidental finding on survey radiograph. However, clinical myelopathies associated with butterfly vertebrae are generally traumatic or compressive and occur as a result of malformation or instability of the vertebral column. They are often treatable.
  • Diagnosis: radiography.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • No known specific cause but associated with screw-tailed breeds, therefore may be genetically transmitted.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Presently unknown.

Specific

  • Presently unknown.

Pathophysiology

  • Malformation originating in the embryonic period of development.
  • Butterfly vertebra is a vertebral body/intervertebral disk abnormality which is mesodermal in origin.
  • Result from incomplete intradiskal migration of notochordal material resulting in bificentrum formation.
  • Persistence of the embryonic notochord, or its sagittal cleavage, may produce a sagittal cleft of the vertebral body dorso-ventrally.
  • The cranial and caudal vertebral end-plates have a funnel shape and in dorso-ventral radiographs, the vertebral body looks like a butterfly.
  • The butterfly vertebra is also characterized by lateral spread of its two halves and compensatory growth of the adjacent normal vertebrae to fill in the funnel-shaped depressions.
  • Improper embryogenesis → abnormal growth and development → some narrowing of vertebral canal → pressure on cord in area.
  • If the vertebral body is very diminutive it may result in kyphotic angulation, especially if associated with centrum hypoplasia.

Timecourse

  • When clinical signs occur, onset is typically acute (hours, days).

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gutierrez-Quintana R, Guevar J, Stalin C et al (2014) A proposed radiographic classification scheme for congenital thoracic vertebral malformations in brachycephalic "screw-tailed" dog breeds. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 55 (6), 585-91 PubMed.
  • Westworth D R, Sturges B K (2010) Congenital spinal malformations in small animals. Vet Clin Small Anim 40 (5), 951-981 PubMed.
  • Bailey C S & Morgan J P (1992) Congenital spinal malformations. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 22 (4), 985-1015 PubMed.
  • Braund K G, Shores A, Brawner W R Jr. (1990) The etiology, pathology and pathophysiology of acute spinal cord trauma. Vet Med 85 (7), 684-691 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Braund K G (1994)Clinical Syndromes in Veterinary Neurology.2nd edn. St. Louis. Mosby Year Book. pp 280-281.
  • Oliver, Hoerlein & Mayhew (1987)Veterinary Neurology.pp 203.
  • Bojrab M J (1983)Disease Mechanisms in Small Animal Surgery.2nd edn. Lea & Febiger. pp 954.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code