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The relation between cord signal and clinical outcome after anterior cervical discectomy in patients with degenerative cervical disc herniation

 Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ali Rabee Kamel Hamdan,
Department of Neurosurgery, Qena University Hospital, The 4th Floor, South Valley University, Qena
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_262_17

Introduction: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is a cervical cord compressive lesion that occurs as a result of the normal degenerative process which may cause magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cord intensity changes that may worsen the clinical outcome even after successful anterior cervical decompression. Objective: To assess the relation between MRI T2 Weighted images (T2 WI) hyperintense cord signal and clinical outcome after anterior cervical discectomy in patients with degenerative cervical disc herniation. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective observational study that was conducted on twenty-five patients with degenerative cervical disc prolapse associated with MRI T2WI hyperintense cord signal, at the Department of Neurosurgery, Qena University Hospital, South Valley University from August 2014 to December 2016. A complete clinical and radiological evaluation of the patients was done. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion was done for all patients. Patients were clinically assessed preoperatively and postoperatively at 3, 6, and 12 months using Modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (MJOA) score. Radiographic assessment was done by preoperative and postoperative T2WI MRI. The statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software (version 22.0). Results: There were 25 patients included in the study; 16 (64%) females and 9 (36%) males. The mean age was 46.89 ± 7.52 standard deviation (SD) years with range from 26 to 64 years, 3 (12%) patients had worsened in the form of postoperative motor power deterioration, and 14 (56%) patients has no improvement and remain as preoperative condition. The remaining 8 (32%) patients had a reported postoperative improvement of symptoms and signs according to MJOA score. The mean follow-up period (in months) was 11 ± 2.34 (SD). Conclusion: The presence of T2W hyperintense signal on preoperative MRI predicts a poor surgical outcome in patients with cervical disc prolapse. The regression of T2W ISI postoperatively correlates with better functional outcomes.

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