Radiographic Modalities

  • Ha Son Nguyen
  • Shekar N. Kurpad


Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) and radiculopathy refer to a host of age-related disorders that can inflict ongoing spinal cord and/or nerve root injury in the cervical spine, causing substantial disability. This term incorporates spondylosis, disc herniation, facet arthropathy, spondylolisthesis, and ligamentous degeneration. To diagnose DCM and radiculopathy, the clinician must rely on the clinical exam as well as advanced radiographic modalities that demonstrate compromise of the neural elements. Conventional MRI has been the imaging modality of choice to confirm the diagnosis of DCM and radiculopathy. However, several studies have noted that signal intensity changes observed via conventional MRI do not convey structural changes within the spinal cord parenchyma. Moreover, findings may not convincingly correspond with disease severity or surgical outcomes in DCM. As such, new advanced MRI techniques have been studied to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of DCM.


Radiographic modalities DCM X-ray CT CT myelography MRI Upright/dynamic MRI Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) Magnetization transfer Myelin water fraction MR spectroscopy Functional MRI 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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