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Segmental differences of cervical spinal cord motion: advancing from confounders to a diagnostic tool


Hupp, M; Vallotton, K; Brockmann, C; Huwyler, S; Rosner, J; Sutter, R; Klarhoefer, M; Freund, P; Farshad, M; Curt, A (2019). Segmental differences of cervical spinal cord motion: advancing from confounders to a diagnostic tool. Scientific Reports, 9(1):7415.

Abstract

Increased cranio-caudal spinal cord motion is associated with clinical impairment in degenerative cervical myelopathy. However, whether spinal cord motion holds potential as a neuroimaging biomarker requires further validation. Different confounders (i.e. subject characteristics, methodological problems such as phase drift, etc.) on spinal cord motion readouts have to be considered. Twenty-two healthy subjects underwent phase contrast MRI, a subset of subjects (N = 9) had repeated scans. Parameters of interest included amplitude of velocity signal, maximum cranial respectively maximum caudal velocity, displacement (=area under curve of the velocity signal). The cervical spinal cord showed pulse synchronic oscillatory motions with significant differences in all readouts across cervical segments, with a maximum at C5. The Inter-rater reliability was excellent for all readouts. The test-retest reliability was excellent for all parameters at C2 to C6, but not for maximum cranial velocity at C6 and all readouts at C7. Spinal cord motion was correlated with spinal canal size, heart rate and body size. This is the first study to propose a standardized MRI measurement of spinal cord motion for further clinical implementation based on satisfactory phase drift correction and excellent reliability. Understanding the influence of confounders (e.g. structural conditions of the spine) is essential for introducing cord motion into the diagnostic work up.

Abstract

Increased cranio-caudal spinal cord motion is associated with clinical impairment in degenerative cervical myelopathy. However, whether spinal cord motion holds potential as a neuroimaging biomarker requires further validation. Different confounders (i.e. subject characteristics, methodological problems such as phase drift, etc.) on spinal cord motion readouts have to be considered. Twenty-two healthy subjects underwent phase contrast MRI, a subset of subjects (N = 9) had repeated scans. Parameters of interest included amplitude of velocity signal, maximum cranial respectively maximum caudal velocity, displacement (=area under curve of the velocity signal). The cervical spinal cord showed pulse synchronic oscillatory motions with significant differences in all readouts across cervical segments, with a maximum at C5. The Inter-rater reliability was excellent for all readouts. The test-retest reliability was excellent for all parameters at C2 to C6, but not for maximum cranial velocity at C6 and all readouts at C7. Spinal cord motion was correlated with spinal canal size, heart rate and body size. This is the first study to propose a standardized MRI measurement of spinal cord motion for further clinical implementation based on satisfactory phase drift correction and excellent reliability. Understanding the influence of confounders (e.g. structural conditions of the spine) is essential for introducing cord motion into the diagnostic work up.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:15 May 2019
Deposited On:20 Jun 2019 06:14
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:36
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43908-x
PubMed ID:31092891

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