Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Apr 1;33(7):814-20. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318169505e.

The correlation of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in cervical compression myelopathy with neurologic and radiologic severity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yokohama City University, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.



A retrospective evaluation of diffusion-weighted imaging, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps, and T2-weighted images in patients with cervical compression myelopathy.


To correlate high signal intensity on ADC maps and T2-weighted images to neurologic severity and radiologic spinal cord compression.


Previous studies indicated that the ADC map was more sensitive in detection of cervical compressive myelopathy than T2-weighted imaging. The relationship to neurologic severity has not been previously published.


In 100 patients with or without cervical compressive myelopathy, the magnetic resonance appearance of the spinal cord on ADC maps and T2-weighted images was evaluated independently by 2 readers. On the basis of the presence or absence of abnormality, patients were categorized into 4 groups by type of intramedullary change. The degree of canal compression and the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score for cervical myelopathy were compared among the 4 types.


The type I group consisted of 32 patients without signal change on either ADC maps or T2-weighted images. The type II group had 33 patients with high signal intensity only on the ADC map. The type III group contained 28 patients with high signal intensity on both the ADC map and the T2-weighted images. The type IV group comprised 7 patients with high signal intensity only on T2-weighted images. The degree of canal compression and the JOA scores were significantly different among the 4 groups (P < 0.005). Most type III (25 of 28) and type IV (7 of 7) patients had severe cord compression. Average JOA scores in each type were (I) 16.0, (II) 14.7, (III) 11.7, and (IV) 8.7.


ADC maps demonstrated internal changes in the early stages of chronic spinal cord compression, but had limitations for the detection of intramedullary changes in late-stage myelopathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk