A Neuroanatomical Study of the Feline Brain using MRI and Mulligan Staining: Functional and Pathological Considerations

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


Department of Anatomy and Compared Pathological Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, Campus de Espinardo, University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain



Background: Despite multiple studies describing accurate diagnoses using advanced neuroimaging techniques, low and mid-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are still the most frequently used scanners in veterinary clinics. To date, these studies in cats do not show a clear distinction of nerve centres in MRI data. Aims: The objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of Mulligan histological staining as a tool in facilitating the location and identification of the main structures of the feline brain in MRI. This study aims to facilitate the interpretation of the MRI obtained with these types of scanners. Methods: A total of ten feline brains were used. One specimen was used for MRI (T2 sequence using a 1.5T scanner). The other nine brains were sectioned and stained with the three Mulligan staining techniques (Mulligan, Le Masurier and Robert). Results: The uptake of stain by the grey matter in these sections allowed the determination of the location and the limits of these nervous structures within the brain. The histological location of these structures was correlated with the MRI scans, leading to the successful identification of many small, indistinct nuclei. Conclusions: Mulligan staining is proposed as a tool that facilitates the location of nerve structures by comparison with data from the most frequently-used MRI scanners in veterinary clinics. 


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