A Correlation Between Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

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Abstract

Study Design.

Correlation between compressed spinal cords on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electrophysiological findings in cervical spondylotic myelopathy patients.

Objective.

To clarify the correlation between spinal-cord-evoked potentials and MRI measurements of compressed spinal cords in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

Summary of Background Data.

Compression of the spinal cord does not always cause clinical symptoms and it is difficult to infer the degree of dysfunction of the spinal cord from MRI findings.

Methods.

Seventeen patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy were examined with MRI and spinal-cord-evoked potentials before surgery. Using abnormality in spinal-cord-evoked potentials as indicators of spinal cord morphology, spinal-cord transverse area and compression ratios (central and 1/4-lateral) were measured on T1-weighted axial imaging. The correlations between these dimensions and electrophysiological findings were investigated.

Results.

The mean preoperative transverse area of the spinal cord was 47.13 mm2.The mean preoperative central compression ratio of the spinal cord was 34.4%. The mean preoperative 1/4-lateral compression ratio of the spinal cord was 27.5%. A correlation (Spearman r=0.65, P < 0.01) was observed between the 1/4-lateral compression ratio of the spinal cord and the amplitude ratio of spinal-cord-evoked potentials after electric stimulation of the brain (Br(E)-SCEPs).

Conclusions.

The preoperative 1/4-lateral compression ratio of the spinal cord was found to reflect the degree of dysfunction of the corticospinal tracts.

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