Diffusion Tensor MRI of the spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Valsasina P, Benedetti B, Filippi M, Caputo D, Perini M
Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Hospital San Raffaele
In this study, we performed histogram analysis of cervical cord MD and FA in 14 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in 13 healthy subjects, to find the extent of cord damage in these patients. Compared to controls, ALS patients had significantly reduced average FA and cervical cord cross-sectional area. This study shows that DTI-MRI of spinal cord is feasible in patients with ALS and allows to grade the extent of cord damage. The most likely pathological substrates of the diffusion and atrophy changes found are axonal loss (due to cortico-spinal tract degeneration) and reactive gliosis.