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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181-189

A prospective study of neurological outcome in relation to findings of imaging modalities in acute spinal cord injury


1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Paraplegia and Rehabilitation, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Roop Singh
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Paraplegia and Rehabilitation, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak - 124 001, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None declared.


DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.161166

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Aim: The aim was to correlate the clinical profile and neurological outcome with findings of imaging modalities in acute spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Subjects and Methods: Imaging (radiographs, computed tomography [CT], and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) features of 25 patients of acute SCI were analyzed prospectively and correlated with clinical and neurology outcome at presentation, 3, 6 and 12 months. Results: Average initial sagittal index, Gardner’s index, and regional kyphosis were 8.12 ± 3.90, 15.68 ± 4.09, 16.44 ± 2.53, respectively; and at 1-year were 4.8 ± 3.03, 12.24 ± 4.36, 12.44 ± 2.26, respectively. At presentation patients with complete SCI had significantly more compression percentage (CP) (P < 0.001), maximum canal compromise (P < 0.001), maximum spinal cord compression (P < 0.001), in comparison to incomplete SCI patients. Qualitative MRI findings; hemorrhage, cord swelling, stenosis showed a predilection toward complete SCI. Improvement in canal dimensions (P = 0.001), beck index (P = 0.008), spinal cord edema (P = 0.010) and stenosis (P = 0.001) was more significant in patients managed operatively; but it was not associated with improved neurological outcome. Cord edema was found more in incomplete SCI patients. Patients presenting with complete SCI improved neurologically to a lesser extent. Conclusions: The present study concludes that imaging modalities in spinal cord injuries have a major role in diagnosis, directing management and predicting prognosis. Imaging findings of severe kyphotic deformities, higher canal and cord compression, lesion length, hemorrhage, and cord swelling are associated with poor initial neurological status and recovery. Quantitative and qualitative parameters measured on MRI have a significant role in predicting initial severity of neurological status and outcome. Operative intervention helps in improving few of these imaging parameters, but not ultimate neurological outcome. MRI is an excellent modality to evaluate acute SCI, and MR images obtained in the acute period significantly and usefully predict neurological outcome.


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