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Abstract #2353

Diffusion Tensor Imaging Detects Axonal Degeneration & Its Extent is Associated with Disability in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

Torben Schneider1, Zoltan Nagy2, Claudia A. M. Wheeler-Kingshott1, Alan J. Thomson3, Patrick Freund2,3

1Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; 3Department of Brain Repair & Rehabilitation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom

We assessed the integrity of the axonal architecture in the spinal cord rostral to a traumatic cervical lesion and explored the relationship between diffusion tensor metrics and clinical disability. FA and AD were lower and MD and RD higher in the cervical cord rostral to the site of injury when compared to controls. In SCI subjects, FA in the cervical cord was positively associated with impaired motor and sensory function in the right lateral cortico-spinal tract. We conclude that spinal atrophy and clinical disability relate to spinal microanatomical sequel of traumatic injury in its chronic phase.