Syringomyelia-Chiari 2018 International Symposium Organised by the Ann Conroy Trust, in association with Aesculap Academia.


July 17-20, 2018

Birmingham, UK.


Welcome to Birmingham





The symposium is co-organised by The Ann Conroy Trust, in association with Aesculap Academia.


The Ann Conroy Trust is Registered Charity No: 1165808.

We provide Support, Education and Research for patients living with Chiari Malformation, Syringomyelia and associated conditions.

F37 MRI biomarkers for canine Chiari malformation-associated pain and syringomyelia


Spiteri M, Wells K, Knowler SP, Rusbridge C.




Canine Chiari malformation (CM) is prevalent in brachycephalic toy breeds of dog, including the cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS). Although some dogs are asymptomatic, CM can be associated with pain and secondary syringomyelia (SM). Morphometric studies on traditional MR images can distinguish between clinical groups but it is not easy to translate findings from research into clinical practice. The aim of this study was to extract markers from MRI in relation to CM associated pain and SM in adult CKCS dogs.




This study was split into two analyses: 1)comparing a symptomatic CM pain class to asymptomatic CM controls, and 2)comparing a symptomatic SM class to the same control group. Diagnosis was based on clinical signs and consented MRI. A midline sagittal MRI of the head and neck of a control group dog was chosen as a reference. Midline sagittal MR images of 77 dogs were mapped onto the reference MRI using DEMONS (non-linear) image registration, producing a 2D deformation map for each case. For each pixel, direction and magnitude of the mapping deformation were computed. Potential biomarkers were identified amongst these descriptors using a feature-selection algorithm, to identify candidate markers of CM pain or SM, and a kernalised Support Vector Machine classifier, to analyse the ability of these to separate controls and clinical cases.




The area under the curve was 81.51 for CM pain and 86.10 for SM. Analysis identified 5 markers for CM pain, in the regions of the nasopharynx, soft palate, caudal nucleus hypothalamus and 4th ventricle. It also identified 5 markers for SM, in the regions of soft and hard palate interface x 2, soft palate, trochlear nucleus, and corpus callosum.




Identification of biomarkers can be used to develop an objective tool for diagnosis.