PMID: 7993244Nov 1, 1994Paper

A review of magnetic resonance imaging in spinal trauma

Australasian Radiology
S J Davis, M S Khangure


One hundred and ninety-five magnetic resonance (MR) images (1.5 Tesla) of 167 patients with neurological impairment following spinal trauma were reviewed. Acute cord injury produces central haemorrhagic necrosis that extends transversely and longitudinally with time and increased injury severity. Oedoma is more homogeneous, extensive and dominant in minimal lesions. Magnetic resonance appearances correlate with neurological status and outcome. Patients with MR evidence of cord blood had severe clinical lesions and failed to show useful clinical improvement. Patients with homogeneous 'oedema' improved to useful function. Lesion signal inhomogeneity relates to a worse prognosis. The clinical level correlates closely with cord blood or signal in homogeneity but imprecisely with homogeneous oedema. Disc herniations require differentiation from epidural blood and venous engorgement, which are prominent with bone displacement. Magnetic resonance is recommended in incomplete cord syndromes and in cord injuries with no apparent fracture, particularly if clinically deteriorating. Chronic injury consists of cavitation, extensive gliosis, cord atrophy and leptomeningeal fibrosis. Progressive myelopathy may result from cystic or non-cystic...Continue Reading


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