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The Role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Acute Transverse Myelitis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2015

Sara G. Austin
Department of Neurology, University of Southern California – Los Angeles County Medical Center, Los Angeles
Chi-Shing Zee
Department of Neuroradiology, University of Southern California – Los Angeles County Medical Center, Los Angeles
Cheryl Waters*
Department of Neurology, University of Southern California – Los Angeles County Medical Center, Los Angeles
Department of Neurology, 1510 San Pablo, #615, Los Angeles, CA U.S.A. 90033
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Eighteen adult patients presenting with acute transverse myelitis (ATM) were evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging. Only 7 had abnormal scans showing an area of increased signal intensity within the cord solely on T2 weighted images; Tl weighted images were normal. The MRI abnormality did not correlate with the cause of the transverse myelitis, the extent of maximum neurological deficit, or the prognosis. A scan performed more than 5 days after the onset of disease was most likely to be positive. Even though the prognostic value of MRI in ATM may be limited, it remains a valuable technique for ruling out other causes of noncompressive spinal cord lesions, such as hemmorhage, vascular malformation, or tumor.

Copyright © Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation 1992



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