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Radiology. 1990 Oct;177(1):25-33.

Acute cervical spine trauma: correlation of MR imaging findings with degree of neurologic deficit.

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Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia 19107.


A retrospective analysis of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies of 78 patients with acute cervical spinal cord injuries was undertaken to determine which observations related directly to the neurologic injury. All MR imaging studies were performed on a 1.5-T unit and assessed with respect to 14 parameters related to the bony spine, ligaments, prevertebral soft tissues, intervertebral disks, and spinal cord. Forty-eight patients also underwent non-contrast material-enhanced thin-section computed tomography (CT) of the cervical spine. MR imaging was the definitive modality in the assessment of soft-tissue injury, especially in the evaluation of the spinal cord and intervertebral disks. All patients with a neurologic deficit had abnormal spinal cords at MR imaging. Intramedullary hemorrhage was predictive of a complete lesion. The degree of associated bone and soft-tissue injury had no bearing on the extent of spinal cord injury or neurologic deficit. Patients with residual cord compression following reduction demonstrated greater neurologic compromise than those without compression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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