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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1998 Oct;19(9):1763-71.

Classification system based on kinematic MR imaging in cervical spondylitic myelopathy.

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1
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Functional myelographic studies are often used to evaluate the dynamic changes of the cervical spinal canal during flexion and extension. The purposes of this study were to use kinematic MR imaging to assess the dynamic changes of the cervical spine in patients at different stages of degenerative disease and to describe a classification system based on static and dynamic factors in the pathogenesis of cervical spondylitic myelopathy.

METHODS:

Eighty-one patients with different stages (I-IV) of degenerative disease of the cervical spine were examined with MR imaging. In the neutral position (0 degrees) and at maximum flexion and extension, spinal stenosis was classified for each segment according to the following grading system: 0 = normal, 1 = partial obliteration of the anterior or posterior subarachnoid space, 2 = complete obliteration of the anterior or posterior subarachnoid space, and 3 = cervical cord compression or displacement.

RESULTS:

At flexion and extension, the prevalence of spinal stenosis and cervical cord impingement increased as the stage of degenerative disease progressed. With regard to a pincer effect (anterior and posterior cord impingement) and cord encroachment at multiple segments, statistically significant differences were observed at stages III and IV as compared with stages I and II. Significant increase in cord impingement was seen in 22 (27%) of 81 patients at extension, as compared with four (5%) of 81 patients at flexion.

CONCLUSION:

Regardless of the stage of degenerative disease and grade of spinal stenosis at the neutral position (0 degrees), cervical spinal motion may contribute to the development of cervical spondylitic myelopathy.

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PMID:
9802503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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