Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Non-compressive Myelopathy
Dr. Varsha P Rangankar,
Professor, Department of Radiodiagnosis, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Sant Tukaram Nagar, Pimpri, Pune-411018, Maharashtra, India.
Abnormal hyperintense signal within the spinal cord is often encountered in radiological practice. Though clinical features may give a hint to the diagnosis, additional investigations and imaging are more often than not required to establish a diagnosis in these cases. An abnormal signal within the cord can be evaluated with respect to the length of the cord involved (short segment or long segment), the location of the signal on axial images (central, focal, diffuse), association with cord expansion or thinning, enhancement pattern, associated cysts and a few imaging features pathognomonic to certain clinical conditions. In this pictorial essay, we describe the imaging features of the vast spectrum of conditions producing an abnormal cord signal on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with illustrative cases and also the implementation of a systematic approach to evaluate the abnormal signal in order to reach a diagnosis in each of these cases.