Julien Cohen-Adad1,2, Mohamed-Mounir El Mendili3, Stphane Lehricy4, Pierre-Franois Pradat5, Sophie Blancho6, Serge Rossignol7, Habib Benali3
1A.A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3UMR-678, INSERM-UPMC, Piti-Salptrire Hospital, Paris, France; 4CENIR, CRICM, UPMC, UMR-S975, INSERM U975, CNRS UMR 7225, Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France; 5Fdration des Maladies du Systme Nerveux, AP-HP, Piti-Salptrire Hospital, Paris, France; 6Institut pour la Recherche sur la Moelle Epinire et l'Encphale, France; 7GRSNC, Faculty of Medicine, Universit de Montral, Montreal, QC, Canada
We combined diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), Magnetization Transfer (MT) and atrophy measurements to evaluate the cervical spinal cord of patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). We used high in-plane resolution to delineate dorsal and ventrolateral pathways. Significant differences were detected between patients and controls in the normal-appearing white matter and all metrics were remarkably well correlated with clinical disability. The specificity of axial and radial diffusivity and MT measurements suggests the detection of degeneration and demyelination in SCI patients. Combining DWI with MT imaging is a promising approach to gain specificity in characterizing spinal cord pathways in traumatic injury.