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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 637-644

Acute traumatic spinal cord injury; does a low tesla magnetic resonance imaging features correlates with neurological status and predict early outcome?


1 Department of Surgery, Neurosurgical Unit, National Hospital Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Jeneral Dumura Alfin
Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_41_21

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Background: Traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) is a devastating disease, hence the need to identify clinical and radiological injury features that predict neurological improvement. Aims: The aim is to determine the correlations between American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features in patients with TSCI and identify predictors of neurological improvement. Settings and Design: This is a prospective cohort study. Subjects and Methods: Seventy-three patients with TSCI managed over a period of 18 months were studied. Neurological assessment of these patients was done at admission and 3-month post-injury using the AIS score form. The various MRI (0.3 Tesla Machine) features of these injuries were identified and measured using a RadiAnt DICOM Viewer 4.0.3 (64-bit). Statistical Analysis: Correlation and regression analysis were done using Spearman's rank correlation, and logistic regression, respectively. A P < 0.05 was used as the level of significance. Results: Spinal cord edema (26.0%) and cord contusion (34.2%) were seen in most patients with incomplete injury, while spinal cord hemorrhage and transection were observed in patients with ASIA A injury. A significant correlation exists between maximum canal compromise (MCC) (ρ= −0.39, P < 0.001), maximum spinal cord compression (MSCC) (ρ= −0.44, P < 0.001), and length of spinal cord lesion (ρ= −0.77, P < 0.001) with AIS at admission. The independent predictors of AIS improvement include MSCC, MCC, length of spinal cord signal change, and cord contusion. Conclusions: MRI features significantly correlate with the neurological status of TSCI and can be used to predict early neurological improvement in these patients.


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