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1st High Field MRI To Help More Companion Animals In Singapore

News > Latest News 4th June 2021

Advances in imaging have significantly increased our ability to accurately diagnose and treat various diseases in animal patients.

High field MRI is the gold standard for imaging of the brain and spinal cord, both in human and veterinary medicine. So far, only low field MRI has been available for companion animals in Singapore.

“Finally the wait is over,” says Dr Anthony Goh, senior veterinarian at Mount Pleasant (Gelenggang).

“Mount Pleasant is committed to providing ‘A Better Life For Our Best Friends’. With this new onsite 1.5 Tesla MRI, our vet team can obtain high quality images quickly and accurately diagnose diseases in our patients, in order to provide the best treatment possible.”

1. What is an MRI?

MRI is the gold standard for imaging the nervous system in companion animals. In contrast to CT (which is better for bone evaluation), MRI is significantly better at imaging soft tissues, such as the brain, spinal cord, intervertebral discs, tendons and ligaments and muscles.

Different scanners have different strengths of magnetic field. The MRI at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang) has a powerful magnetic field of 1.5 Tesla which provides high quality 3-D images with excellent detail and resolution of the brain and spinal cord.

2. Why Does My Pet Need an MRI?

In neurology, a stroke, brain tumor or infection in the same area of the brain produces similar clinical signs. Advanced imaging is therefore required in most cases to determine the cause of the illness in order to provide the best treatment possible.

MRI scans are often requested for paralysed pets and pets suffering from seizures or behaviour changes, as well as other conditions such as nasal diseases and disorders of the ear.

3. Is My Pet Awake During an MRI?

The patient must remain completely still throughout the scan as any movement blurs the images. As a result, animal patients must be placed under general anaesthesia to ensure that the images acquired are of diagnostic quality and the scan is completed with minimal stress to the patient.

4. Is MRI Safe for My Pet?

MRI uses a strong magnetic field and the natural resonance of atoms in the body to create cross-sectional images of soft tissues. No radiation is utilised during an MRI. Prior to the scan, a thorough examination which includes blood tests and chest X-rays is performed to ensure that the anaesthesia risk for the patient is minimised. During the scan, your pet is closely monitored by a veterinary technician.

5. How Long Does it Take?

The procedure usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours to complete depending on the region of the body being scanned. Once the images are obtained, they are evaluated by a specialist neurologist and radiologist.

14-yo Pie Pie presented with acute onset of bilateral hind limb paralysis with reduced proprioception (awareness of position and movement of the body). Neuro-imaging diagnosis: bilateral otitis media and right cerebellomedullary pontine angle mass lesion, most compatible with a choroid plexus tumour, a meningioma, histiocytic sarcoma or a lymphoma.

11-yo patient presented with weakness of legs followed by right-sided hemiparesis. Neuro-imaging diagnosis: multifocal intra-axial and intramedullary lesions, compatible with meningoencephalomyelitis (likely inflammatory).

8-yo patient presented with excessive drooling, tetraparesis, left-sided facial twitching, left-sided head turn and behavioural changes. Neuro-imaging diagnosis: multifocal disease process affecting all regions of the brain parenchyma – main differentials being meningoencephalitis of unknown origin (MUO), infectious meningoencephalitis or less likely CNS lymphoma.

Referral Service For Internal Medicine

We provide a referral service for internal medicine at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang) which focuses on the diagnosis and management in areas of cardiology, endocrinology, haematology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, medical oncology, nephrology and neurology. Our on-site diagnostic services include a dedicated laboratory, a full endoscopy suite, and a diagnostic imaging centre including our new 1.5 Telsa MRI.

Please speak with your vet if you would like a referral. You may also call 6251 7666 or email clientrelations@mountpleasant.com.sg for more information.