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Neuroradiology. 1997 Dec;39(12):847-51.

MRI and clinical features in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Chiba University, Japan.

Abstract

MRI of the brain and spinal cord was performed in 21 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 8 normal volunteers and 16 neurological disease controls. High signal was seen in the intracranial corticospinal tract in 16 of the 21 patients on T2-weighted and in 10 on proton density (PD)-weighted images. In one patient, the high signal on T2-weighted images became less marked with progression of the disease. Low signal intensity was seen in the motor cortex in 12 of the 21 patients. High signal in the anterolateral column of the spinal cord on T1 weighted images was seen in 14, and high signal in the lateral corticospinal tract on T2 weighted images was seen in 7 of the 21 patients. The relationship between the abnormal images and upper motor neurone signs remained unclear. High signal intensity was seen in the corticospinal tract in the brain on T2-weighted images in two normal volunteers and four disease controls, and on PD weighted images in three disease controls. Low signal intensity in the motor cortex on T2 weighted images was seen in three normal volunteers and four disease controls. However, high signal intensity was seen in the intracranial corticospinal tract on T1 weighted images in five patients with ALS who showed pronounced upper motor neurone signs including spastic paraparesis, but not in controls. Thus, abnormalities on MRI in the brain and spinal cord should be considered in the diagnosis of ALS, and high signal intensity of the intracranial corticospinal tract on T1-weighted images may reflect the severe pathological changes of the upper motor neurones in ALS.

PMID:
9457707
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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