Clinical and MRI findings in two unrelated cats with globoid cell leucodystrophy

11 Jun 2020

Colverde, A. S., Gagliardo, T., Falzone, C., Gandini, G.

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Two unrelated male cats, both five months old, were referred for progressive neurological signs characterised by intentional tremors, paraplegia with absence of nociception in the pelvic limbs, weakness, dysmetria with reduced flexor reflex in the thoracic limbs, and bilaterally reduced menace response. MRI, performed by a 0.25 T Esaote Vet Grande, showed diffuse and irregular intramedullary T2 weighted hyperintensity between T3 and L3; these lesions were isointense on T1 weighted images without contrast uptake. In one patient MRI of the brain was obtained and mild cerebellar volume reduction was found. Histological examination of the brain and spinal cord demonstrated myelin loss and perivascular accumulation of periodic acid-Schiff-positive big macrophages. These findings were consistent with globoid cell leucodystrophy, as previously described in cats. Although not specific, in young cats with progressive spinal neurological signs, especially when associated with cerebellar signs, and irregular but diffuse T2 intramedullary hyperintensity and T1 isointensity without contrast uptake, globoid cell leucodystrophy should be suspected.