MRI monitoring of spinal cord changes in patients with multiple sclerosis

Alex Rovira, Nicola De Stefano

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    © Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Purpose of review We analyze recent data on technical aspects, clinical indications, and imaging features of spinal cord MRI in multiple sclerosis, and on the value of this examination for assessing the type and extension of spinal cord damage, and for predicting prognosis in patients with this disease. Recent findings Spinal cord MRI on patients with multiple sclerosis is technically challenging and a standardized protocol that optimizes the accuracy of this examination is essential, particularly as recent studies have shown its value for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Several recent studies have proven the potential value of new, quantitative spinal cord magnetic resonance metrics for assessing the type and degree of spinal cord damage. Although these measures can bring new insights into the understanding of the disease, there is not enough evidence to support their use outside the research scenario. Summary Neurologists and neuroradiologists should be aware of the added value of conventional spinal cord MRI in the initial diagnosis and monitoring of multiple sclerosis. The use of advanced quantitative magnetic resonance techniques, which better assess the degree of irreversible tissue damage within the spinal cord, is mainly restricted to clinical research and cannot yet be incorporated into the daily clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-452
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


    • MRI
    • multiple sclerosis
    • spinal cord

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