Brain Tumor Removal
Brain tumors are a common cause of neurological problems in dogs
and cats. Most affected animals are middle age to older and have a
gradual progression of signs that may include blindness, loss of
coordination, and seizures. In some cases, brain tumors may result
in sudden, severe neurological disability.
In dogs and cats, the two most common brain tumors are
meningioma and glioma. Meningioma is a tumor of the soft tissue
layer (meninges) that surrounds the brain. Normally, this layer is
paper thin and sits between the skull and spinal fluid. As
meningiomas develop, they expand and compress the underlying brain.
Most meningiomas are histologically benign; these tumors frequently
affect long-nosed breeds and Golden Retrievers. Gliomas are tumors
of cells that support neurons within the brain. These tumors are
usually invasive to surrounding tissue and may behave in a
malignant manner. Boston Terriers and Boxers are most commonly
Texas A&M University has assembled a team of individuals
with expertise in treating brain tumors in veterinary patients. Our
group includes veterinary neurologists, surgeons, pathologists,
radiologists and pediatric neurosurgeons. We have also have access
to state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate surgical treatment.
These instruments include:
This equipment allows us to utilize image-guided surgical
techniques and perform minimally invasive brain biopsy.
Essentially, using the OmniSight we can see our surgical
instruments on CT or MR images of the tumor (see photo below). This
permits us to understand exactly where tumor borders are, which in
human medicine has been shown to enhance removal.
Radionics Cavitronic Ultrasonic Aspirator (CUSA)
The CUSA has been used in veterinary neurosurgery to help remove
tumor tissue from normal, underlying brain. It works by focally
vibrating the tumor and suctioning tissue.
The following images are from a dog with
meningioma. On the left is the pre-surgical MR image. On the right
is an immediate post-op MR which reveals complete tumor
Image guidance was used to enhance tumor
Currently, we have one clinical trial
associated with brain tumor removal.