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Acad Radiol. 2014 May;21(5):590-6. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2014.01.014.

Preliminary study on cervical spinal cord in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using MR diffusion tensor imaging.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Rd, Beijing 100853, China.
2
Department of Neurology, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
3
Department of Radiology, PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Rd, Beijing 100853, China. Electronic address: cjr.malin@vip.163.com.

Abstract

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the conventional magnetic resonance (MR) findings of cervical spinal cord, to explore the possible changes on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and to assess the correlations between the changes on DTI and clinical parameters in patients with ALS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Conventional MR imaging (MRI) and DTI in 24 patients with ALS and 16 age-matched control subjects were obtained. On axial planes, regions of interest (ROIs) were marked in bilateral spinothalamic tracts (STs), posterior funiculus, and bilateral lateral corticospinal tracts (LCTs), respectively, at the levels of cervical 2-4 vertebral bodies. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of these ROIs were estimated. Independent sample t test and Pearson correlation analysis were used.

RESULTS:

In patients with ALS, no abnormal findings were noted in the cervical spinal cord on conventional MRI. FA values of bilateral LCTs decreased significantly compared to those of the control group (P < .05), and ADC values of bilateral LCTs were significantly greater than those of the control group (P < .05). FA and ADC values of bilateral LCTs showed no significant difference between patients with definite and probable ALS (P > .05). No significant correlation existed between abnormal DTI parameters (FA and ADC values of bilateral LCTs) and clinical parameters (P > .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Subtle abnormalities in bilateral LCTs in the "normal-appearing" cervical spinal cord can be detected using quantitative DTI technique in patients with ALS.

KEYWORDS:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; diffusion tensor imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; spinal cord

PMID:
24703471
DOI:
10.1016/j.acra.2014.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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