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Abstract #1180

Is recovery from whiplash influenced by macromolecular changes in spinal cord white matter?

Mark Andrew Hoggarth1,2, James Elliott2,3, Mary Kwasny4, Marie Wasielewski2, Kenneth Weber5, and Todd Parrish1,6
1Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 2Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 3Northern Sydney Local Health District & Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 4Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 5Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, United States, 6Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States

Whiplash injuries are the most common outcome from non-fatal motor vehicle collisions, affecting nearly four million people in the United States each year. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the macromolecular environment of cervical spinal cord white matter in participants with persistent whiplash. This investigation of 76 individuals demonstrated changes in cervical white matter integrity following whiplash injuries using magnetization transfer imaging. Significant differences in the magnetization transfer ratio homogeneity of large cervical white matter tracts were observed in females with poor clinical outcome, indicating a spinal cord insult may contribute to chronic pain after whiplash injury.

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