Features of non-traumatic spinal cord infarction on MRI: Changes over time

Bo Ra Kim, Kyung Seok Park, Hyo Jin Kim, Jun Yup Kim, Bo Ram Kim, Eugene Lee, Joon Woo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose Spinal cord infarction (SCI) is difficult to diagnosis using MRI findings. We aimed to suggest the optimal timing of MRI studies for diagnosing SCI. Materials and methods This retrospective study was approved by our institutional review board. The requirement for informed consent was waived. MRI scans of SCI patients diagnosed between January 2015 and August 2019 were enrolled in the SCI group and subdivided according to the interval between symptom onset and time of MRI scan (A, within 6 h; B, 6-12 hours; C, 12-24 hours; D, 24-72 hours; E, 3-7 days). Three radiologists analyzed the T2WI scans and evaluated the confidence level of diagnosing SCI using a five-point Likert scale: 1, certainly not; 2, probably not; 3, equivocal; 4, probably yes; 5, certainly yes. Scores of 4 and 5 were defined as "T2WI-positive SCI"and scores of 1-3 were defined as "T2WI-negative SCI". Results The SCI group included 58 MRI scans of 34 patients (mean age, 60.6 ± 14.0 years; 18 women). The T2WI positivity rate was 72.4% (42/58). In contrast to the other subgroups, subgroup A included fewer cases of T2WI-positive SCI (1/4, 25%) than T2WI-negative SCI. A confidence score of 5 was the most common in subgroup D (4/27, 14.8%). Among the 12 patients who underwent MRI studies more than twice, confidence scores increased with time. Conclusion In patients with suspected SCI showing equivocal initial MRI findings, follow-up MRI studies are helpful, especially when performed between 24 and 72 hours after symptom onset.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0274821
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2022


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