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Traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injury: pathological insights from neuroimaging


David, Gergely; Mohammadi, Siawoosh; Martin, Allan R; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Thompson, Alan; Freund, Patrick (2019). Traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injury: pathological insights from neuroimaging. Nature Reviews. Neurology, 15(12):718-731.

Abstract

Pathophysiological changes in the spinal cord white and grey matter resulting from injury can be observed with MRI techniques. These techniques provide sensitive markers of macrostructural and microstructural tissue integrity, which correlate with histological findings. Spinal cord MRI findings in traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) and nontraumatic spinal cord injury - the most common form of which is degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) - have provided important insights into the pathophysiological processes taking place not just at the focal injury site but also rostral and caudal to the spinal injury. Although tSCI and DCM have different aetiologies, they show similar degrees of spinal cord pathology remote from the injury site, suggesting the involvement of similar secondary degenerative mechanisms. Advanced quantitative MRI protocols that are sensitive to spinal cord pathology have the potential to improve diagnosis and, more importantly, predict outcomes in patients with tSCI or nontraumatic spinal cord injury. This Review describes the insights into tSCI and DCM that have been revealed by neuroimaging and outlines current activities and future directions for the field.

Abstract

Pathophysiological changes in the spinal cord white and grey matter resulting from injury can be observed with MRI techniques. These techniques provide sensitive markers of macrostructural and microstructural tissue integrity, which correlate with histological findings. Spinal cord MRI findings in traumatic spinal cord injury (tSCI) and nontraumatic spinal cord injury - the most common form of which is degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) - have provided important insights into the pathophysiological processes taking place not just at the focal injury site but also rostral and caudal to the spinal injury. Although tSCI and DCM have different aetiologies, they show similar degrees of spinal cord pathology remote from the injury site, suggesting the involvement of similar secondary degenerative mechanisms. Advanced quantitative MRI protocols that are sensitive to spinal cord pathology have the potential to improve diagnosis and, more importantly, predict outcomes in patients with tSCI or nontraumatic spinal cord injury. This Review describes the insights into tSCI and DCM that have been revealed by neuroimaging and outlines current activities and future directions for the field.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:December 2019
Deposited On:15 Jan 2020 13:38
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:38
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1759-4758
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41582-019-0270-5
PubMed ID:31673093

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