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Abstract #1304

Sensitivity of Myelin Water Imaging in Focal Spinal Cord Demyelination: A Combined Neurophysiological and Neuroimaging Study of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

Erin Leigh MacMillan1, Alexander L. MacKay2, Burkhard Mdler3, David K. Li2, Marcel F. Dvorak4, Armin Curt5

1Dept. of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; 2Dept. of Radiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 3Philips Healthcare, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 4Dept. of Orthopaedics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 5Dept. of Neurology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Myelin water imaging directly measures the fraction of water trapped between myelin bilayers, called the myelin water fraction (MWF), and has been applied to investigate the role of myelin degradation in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy (CSM). The present study found a significant correlation between MWF and tibial somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) in subjects with CSM. These findings indicate for the first time that MWF in the cervical spinal cord is sensitive to focal demyelination in vivo and might provide a new tool to assess clinical interventions aimed at treating diseases and disorders of myelin in the spinal cord.