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J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2009 Apr;53(2):152-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2009.02067.x.

Differential diagnosis of T2 hyperintense spinal cord lesions: part B.

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Department of Radiology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.


Hyperintense spinal cord signal on T2-weighted images is seen in a wide-ranging variety of spinal cord processes. Causes including simple MR artefacts, trauma, primary and secondary tumours, radiation myelitis and diastematomyelia were discussed in Part A. The topics discussed in Part B of this two part series include multiple sclerosis, subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, cord infarction, arteriovenous shunts, transverse myelitis, neurosarcoidosis, AIDS-associated vacuolar myelopathy, and syringohydromyelia. Characterization of the abnormal areas of T2 signal as well as their appearance on other MR imaging sequences, when combined with clinical context and laboratory investigations, will often allow a unique diagnosis, or at least aid in narrowing the differential diagnosis. A wide range of instructive cases is discussed here, with review of the published reports focusing on pertinent MR features to aid in diagnosis.

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