Dec 24, 2011

The cervical spinal cord in neuromyelitis optica patients: a comparative study with multiple sclerosis using diffusion tensor imaging

European Journal of Radiology
Fernanda Miraldi Clemente PessôaEmerson L Gasparetto


This study aims to evaluate "in vivo" the integrity of the normal-appearing spinal cord in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), using diffusion tensor MR imaging, comparing to controls and patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). We studied 8 patients with NMO and 17 without any neurologic disorder. Also, 32 MS patients were selected. Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated within regions of interest at C2 and C7 levels in the four columns of the spinal cord. At C2, the FA value was decreased in NMO patients compared to MS and controls in the anterior column. Also in this column, RD value showed increase in NMO compared to MS and to controls. The FA value of the posterior column was decreased in NMO in comparison to controls. At C7, AD value was higher in NMO than in MS in the right column. At the same column, MD values were increased in NMO compared to MS and to controls. There is extensive NASC damage in NMO patients, including peripheral areas of the cervical spinal cord, affecting the white matter, mainly caused by demyelination. This suggests a new spinal cord lesion pattern in NMO in comparison to MS.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cervical Vertebrae
Dorsal Funiculus
Entire Optic Nerve
Malignant Neoplasm of Spinal Cord
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Anterior Column of the Fornix
Neoplasm of Uncertain or Unknown Behavior of Spinal Cord
Differential Diagnosis
Structure of Crus of Fornix

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