Characteristics of Spontaneous Spinal Cord Infarction and Proposed Diagnostic Criteria.
ABSTRACT: Importance:Spinal cord infarction (SCI) is often disabling, and the diagnosis can be challenging without an inciting event (eg, aortic surgery). Patients with a spontaneous SCI are often misdiagnosed as having transverse myelitis. Diagnostic criteria for SCI are lacking, hindering clinical care and research. Objective:To describe the characteristics of spontaneous SCI and propose diagnostic criteria. Design, Setting, and Participants:An institution-based search tool was used to identify patients evaluated at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, from January 1997 to December 2017 with a spontaneous SCI. Patients provided written consent to use their records for research. Participants were 18 years and older with a diagnosis of spontaneous SCI (n = 133), and controls were selected from a database of alternative myelopathy etiologies for validation of the proposed diagnostic criteria (n = 280). Main Outcomes and Measures:A descriptive analysis of SCI was performed and used to propose diagnostic criteria, and the criteria were validated. Results:Of 133 included patients with a spontaneous SCI, the median (interquartile range) age at presentation was 60 (52-69) years, and 101 (76%) had vascular risk factors. Rapid onset of severe deficits reaching nadir within 12 hours was typical (102 [77%]); some had a stuttering decline (31 [23%]). Sensory loss occurred in 126 patients (95%), selectively affecting pain/temperature in 49 (39%). Initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spine results were normal in 30 patients (24%). Characteristic MRI T2-hyperintense patterns included owl eyes (82 [65%]) and pencil-like hyperintensity (50 [40%]); gadolinium enhancement (37 of 96 [39%]) was often linear and located in the anterior gray matter. Confirmatory MRI findings included diffusion-weighted imaging/apparent diffusion coefficient restriction (19 of 29 [67%]), adjacent dissection/occlusion (16 of 82 [20%]), and vertebral body infarction (11 [9%]). Cerebrospinal fluid showed mild inflammation in 7 of 89 patients (8%). Diagnostic criteria was proposed for definite, probable, and possible SCI of periprocedural and spontaneous onset. In the validation cohort (n = 280), 9 patients (3%) met criteria for possible SCI, and none met criteria for probable SCI. Conclusions and Relevance:This large series of spontaneous SCIs provides clinical, laboratory, and MRI clues to SCI diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria proposed here will aid clinicians in making the correct diagnosis and ideally improve future care for patients with SCI. The validation of these criteria supports their utility in the evaluation of acute myelopathy.
Project description:STUDY DESIGN:Survey study. OBJECTIVES:Spinal cord injury (SCI)-associated pneumonia (SCI-AP) is associated with poor functional recovery and a major cause of death after SCI. Better tackling SCI-AP requires a common understanding on how SCI-AP is defined. This survey examines clinical algorithms relevant for diagnosis and treatment of SCI-AP. SETTING:All departments for SCI-care in Germany. METHODS:The clinical decision-making on SCI-AP and the utility of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for diagnosis of 'clinically defined pneumonia' were assessed by means of a standardized questionnaire including eight case vignettes of suspected SCI-AP. The diagnostic decisions based on the case information were analysed using classification and regression trees (CART). RESULTS:The majority of responding departments were aware of the CDC-criteria (88%). In the clinical vignettes, 38-81% of the departments diagnosed SCI-AP in accordance with the CDC-criteria and 7-41% diagnosed SCI-AP in deviation from the CDC-criteria. The diagnostic agreement was not associated with the availability of standard operating procedures for SCI-AP management in the departments. CART analysis identified radiological findings, fever, and worsened gas exchange as most important for the decision on SCI-AP. Frequently requested supplementary diagnostics were microbiological analyses, C-reactive protein, and procalcitonin. For empirical antibiotic therapy, the departments used (acyl-)aminopenicillins/?-lactamase inhibitors, cephalosporins, or combinations of (acyl-)aminopenicillins/?-lactamase inhibitors with fluoroquinolones or carbapenems. CONCLUSIONS:This survey reveals a diagnostic ambiguity regarding SCI-AP despite the awareness of CDC-criteria and established SOPs. Heterogeneous clinical practice is encouraging the development of disease-specific guidelines for diagnosis and management of SCI-AP.
Project description:Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory CNS syndrome distinct from multiple sclerosis (MS) that is associated with serum aquaporin-4 immunoglobulin G antibodies (AQP4-IgG). Prior NMO diagnostic criteria required optic nerve and spinal cord involvement but more restricted or more extensive CNS involvement may occur. The International Panel for NMO Diagnosis (IPND) was convened to develop revised diagnostic criteria using systematic literature reviews and electronic surveys to facilitate consensus. The new nomenclature defines the unifying term NMO spectrum disorders (NMOSD), which is stratified further by serologic testing (NMOSD with or without AQP4-IgG). The core clinical characteristics required for patients with NMOSD with AQP4-IgG include clinical syndromes or MRI findings related to optic nerve, spinal cord, area postrema, other brainstem, diencephalic, or cerebral presentations. More stringent clinical criteria, with additional neuroimaging findings, are required for diagnosis of NMOSD without AQP4-IgG or when serologic testing is unavailable. The IPND also proposed validation strategies and achieved consensus on pediatric NMOSD diagnosis and the concepts of monophasic NMOSD and opticospinal MS.
Project description:Alien limb phenomenon occurs in 50-60% of patients with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) and usually presents with an "alien hand" phenomenon. The "alien foot" presentation is rarer and may be misdiagnosed, as foot involvement can lead to erroneous localization of the clinical problem to the knee, hip, or back. Subsequently misdiagnoses such as myelopathy, radiculopathy, functional disorder, stiff leg syndrome, neuromyotonia, and painful leg moving toes syndrome may occur.We describe two patients with alien foot symptoms that resulted in multiple opinions from different specialists, multiple diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and delayed diagnosis. Eventually a diagnosis of CBS was made in both. Alien foot symptoms may be more common than initially thought and can result in a delayed diagnosis of CBS.The inclusion of this clinical finding in recently proposed diagnostic criteria highlights the need for increased clinical awareness.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The diagnosis of degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is difficult in numerous patients due to the limited correlation of clinical symptoms, electrophysiology and MRI. This applies especially for early disease stages with mild symptoms or in uncertainty due to comorbidities. Conventional MRI myelopathy signs show a restricted sensitivity to clinical symptoms of at most 60%. It is desirable to select patients for surgical treatment as early as possible before irreversible neurological damage occurs. To improve treatment, a more reliable imaging is necessary. Microdiffusion imaging (MIDI) is an innovative MRI modality to depict tissue alterations within one voxel based on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) postprocessing. By separating the affected area into several mesoscopic compartments, pathological changes might be detected more sensitive through this subtle tissue resolution. We hypothesise, that MIDI shows myelopathic alterations more sensitive than conventional MRI and improves the correlation to functional impairment. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:In this prospective, observational trial, 130 patients with a relevant degenerative cervical spinal stenosis receive MRI including MIDI and a standard clinical and electrophysiological assessment. Special subvoxel diffusion parameters are calculated. Clinical follow-ups are conducted after 3, 6 and with additional MRI and electrophysiology after 12 months. The primary endpoint is the sensitivity of MIDI to detect functional myelopathy defined by clinical and electrophysiological features correlated to conventional MRI myelopathy signs. Twenty healthy subjects will be included as negative control. The results will provide new insights into the development of mesoscopic spinal cord alterations in DCM associated to the clinical course. Aim is to improve the diagnostics of incipient myelopathy through this new modality. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study protocol is approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Freiburg (reference 261/17). The results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:DRKS00012962.
Project description:Purpose To derive and test multiparametric cardiac MRI models for the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Materials and Methods Images and patient data from consecutive patients suspected of having PH who underwent cardiac MRI and right-sided heart catheterization (RHC) between 2012 and 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Of 2437 MR images identified, 603 fit the inclusion criteria. The mean patient age was 61 years (range, 18-88 years; mean age of women, 60 years [range, 18-84 years]; mean age of men, 62 years [range, 22-88 years]). In the first 300 patients (derivation cohort), cardiac MRI metrics that showed correlation with mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) were used to create a regression algorithm. The performance of the model was assessed in the 303-patient validation cohort by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and ?2 analysis. Results In the derivation cohort, cardiac MRI mPAP model 1 (right ventricle and black blood) was defined as follows: -179 + loge interventricular septal angle × 42.7 + log10 ventricular mass index (right ventricular mass/left ventricular mass) × 7.57 + black blood slow flow score × 3.39. In the validation cohort, cardiac MRI mPAP model 1 had strong agreement with RHC-measured mPAP, an intraclass coefficient of 0.78, and high diagnostic accuracy (area under the ROC curve = 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93, 0.98). The threshold of at least 25 mm Hg had a sensitivity of 93% (95% CI: 89%, 96%), specificity of 79% (95% CI: 65%, 89%), positive predictive value of 96% (95% CI: 93%, 98%), and negative predictive value of 67% (95% CI: 53%, 78%) in the validation cohort. A second model, cardiac MRI mPAP model 2 (right ventricle pulmonary artery), which excludes the black blood flow score, had equivalent diagnostic accuracy (ROC difference: P = .24). Conclusion Multiparametric cardiac MRI models have high diagnostic accuracy in patients suspected of having pulmonary hypertension. Published under a CC BY 4.0 license. Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Colletti in this issue.
Project description:Post-traumatic intramedullary myelopathies and cavitations are well described lesions following spinal cord injury (SCI) in humans and have been described in histopathological evaluations in dogs. Human intramedullary myelopathies/cavitations are associated with severe initial SCI and deterioration of clinical signs. Canine intervertebral disc extrusions share similarities with SCI in humans. In this descriptive study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in spinal cords of dogs suffering from chronic post-traumatic myelopathies, including cavitations, are elucidated. An additional aim of the study was to compare diagnostic imaging and histopathological findings and identify similarities between human and canine chronic post-traumatic spinal cord lesions.Thirty-seven dogs with thoracolumbar SCI and one or more 3Tesla MRI investigations more than 3 weeks after SCI were included. Extent of intramedullary lesions and particularly cavitations were evaluated and measured in sagittal and transverse MRI planes. These data were compared with clinical data.A total of 91.9% of study patients developed chronic intramedullary lesions, and 86.5% developed intramedullary cavitations. Paraplegia without deep pain perception at initial examination was significantly associated with longer chronic myelopathies/cavitations (P = 0.002/P = 0.008), and with larger maximal cross-sectional area (mCSA) of the lesions (P = 0.041/0.005). In addition, a non-ambulatory status after decompressive surgery was also associated with the development of longer intramedullary lesions/cavitations (P<0.001) and larger lesion mCSA (P<0.001/P = 0.012). All dogs with negative outcome developed myelopathies/cavitations. In the group of 21 dogs with positive outcome, 3 did not develop any myelopathies, and 5 did not develop cavitations.Development of chronic intramedullary lesions/cavitations are common findings in canine SCI. Extensive chronic intramedullary lesions/cavitations reflect a severe initial SCI and negative clinical outcome. This supports the hypothesis that chronic spinal cord changes following SCI in humans share similarities with canine chronic spinal cord changes after spontaneous intervertebral disc extrusion.
Project description:Background: Spinal cord infarction (SCI) is a rare disease and its early diagnosis is challenging. Here, we described the clinical features and imaging findings of SCI, and assessed the results of evoked potential (EP) studies to elucidate their diagnostic role in the early stage of SCI. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 14 patients who had spontaneous SCI. The demographic, neurological, and temporal profiles of the SCI patients were identified. We reviewed the imaging findings and assessed the changes in them over time. To review EP, central motor conduction time (CMCT) and somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) values were obtained. We also enrolled 15 patients with transverse myelitis (TM), and compared the clinical, radiological and electrophysiological features between SCI and TM patients. Results: The ages of the SCI patients ranged from 54 to 73 years. Nine patients (64.3%) showed nadir deficits within 6 h. The most common type of clinical visit was via the emergency center. Nine patients (64.3%) presented with peri-onset focal pain. The median initial modified Rankin scale score was 3. For 9 patients (64.3%), initial T2 imaging findings were negative, but subsequent diffusion weighed imaging (DWI) showed diffusion restriction. Vertebral body infarction was observed in 5 patients (35.7%). EP data were available for 10 SCI patients. All 8 patients who had their CMCT measured showed abnormalities. Among them, motor evoked potentials were not evoked in 6 patients at all. SEP was measured in 10 patients, and 9 of them showed abnormalities; one of them showed no SEP response. For 5 patients, the EP studies were done prior to DWI, and all the patients showed definite abnormalities. The abnormalities in the EP findings of the SCI patients were more profound than those of the TM patients, even though the duration from the onset to the start of the study was much shorter for SCI patients. Conclusion: SCI can be diagnosed based on typical clinical manifestations and appropriate imaging studies. Our study also indicates that immediate sensory and motor EP study can have an adjuvant diagnostic role in the hyperacute stage of SCI, and can improve the accuracy of diagnosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A few reliable national data concerning the etiology of non-traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in sub-Sahara Africa exists, mainly because of the limitations of diagnostic imaging. These are both expensive and mostly unavailable in several resource-limited settings. Only a few studies have employed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in documenting non-traumatic SCI and most of these studies are from South Africa. We sought to describe the clinical presentation, MRI radiological patterns, and one-year survival among subjects with non-traumatic SCI in Uganda. METHODS:We enrolled a prospective cohort of 103 participants with non-traumatic SCI at Mulago National Referral Hospital Kampala, Uganda in 2013-2015. Participants received standard of care management, with surgical intervention as needed, with one-year follow up. Data were analyzed using Descriptive statistics. RESULTS:In 103 participants with non-traumatic SCI, the median (IQR) age was 37 (18, 85) years and 25% of the participants were HIV-infected. Paraplegia/paraparesis was the most common clinical presentation in 70% (n?=?72). Severe disease was present in 82% (n?=?85) as per American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scale A-C. On MRI, 50% had extradural lesions. However, bone lesions accounted for only 75% of all the extradural lesions. More than 60% of the patients had lesions that could only be diagnosed on MRI. Deaths occurred in 42% (n?=?44) of participants, with the highest mortality among those with extradural lesions (60%). CONCLUSION:The mortality following non-traumatic spinal cord injuries in Uganda is high. We demonstrated an equal distribution between extradural and intradural lesions, which differs from the historical predominance of extradural lesions. Increased utilization of MRI particularly among young age groups is needed to make a diagnosis.
Project description:Background:A fatty corner lesion (FCL) is a well-demarcated fat infiltration in the corner of a vertebral body on T1 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence. It has been reported to be useful in the diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). Our objective is to systematically evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of FCLs in tertiary centre patients with chronic back pain. Method:Two hundred and thirty eight axSpA patients and 62 non-axSpA patients with back pain were recruited from five rheumatology centres. Clinical, biochemical, and radiological parameters were collected and all patients underwent a MRI of the spine and sacroiliac (SI) joints. FCLs in vertebral bodies from C4 to L5 were scored. The number and location of FCLs were clustered together to determine an optimal combination for diagnosis. Results were compared with expert diagnosis as the "gold standard". Results:FCLs of the anterior whole spine (AUC 0.62; p = 0.003) and anterior thoracic spine (AUC 0.64; p = 0.001) had diagnostic significance. Incorporating at least 5 whole spine FCLs into the imaging criteria of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) criteria for axSpA yielded a sensitivity of 91.6% and specificity of 91.9%. Similarly, applying at least 3 anterior thoracic FCLs to the imaging criteria of the ASAS axial SpA criteria yielded a sensitivity of 92.0% and specificity of 93.5%. Conclusion:FCLs could be used to diagnose axial SpA. The presence of at least 3 anterior thoracic FCLs in T1-weighted MRI spine suggests a diagnosis of axial SpA without additional MRI of the SI joints. Trial registration:The cohort has been registered in the clinical trial registry of the University of Hong Kong (HKUCTR-2087).
Project description:Chiari-like malformation (CM) and syringomyelia (SM) is a frequent diagnosis in predisposed brachycephalic toy breeds since increased availability of MRI. However, the relevance of that MRI diagnosis has been questioned as CM, defined as identification of a cerebellar herniation, is ubiquitous in some breeds and SM can be asymptomatic. This article reviews the current knowledge of neuroanatomical changes in symptomatic CM and SM and diagnostic imaging modalities used for the clinical diagnosis of CM-pain or myelopathy related to SM. Although often compared to Chiari type I malformation in humans, canine CM-pain and SM is more comparable to complex craniosynostosis syndromes (i.e., premature fusion of multiple skull sutures) characterized by a short skull (cranial) base, rostrotentorial crowding with rostral forebrain flattening, small, and ventrally orientated olfactory bulbs, displacement of the neural tissue to give increased height of the cranium and further reduction of the functional caudotentorial space with hindbrain herniation. MRI may further reveal changes suggesting raised intracranial pressure such as loss of sulci definition in conjunction with ventriculomegaly. In addition to these brachycephalic changes, dogs with SM are more likely to have craniocervical junction abnormalities including rostral displacement of the axis and atlas with increased odontoid angulation causing craniospinal junction deformation and medulla oblongata elevation. Symptomatic SM is diagnosed on the basis of signs of myelopathy and presence of a large syrinx that is consistent with the neuro-localization. The imaging protocol should establish the longitudinal and transverse extent of the spinal cord involvement by the syrinx. Phantom scratching and cervicotorticollis are associated with large mid-cervical syringes that extend to the superficial dorsal horn. If the cause of CSF channel disruption and syringomyelia is not revealed by anatomical MRI then other imaging modalities may be appropriate with radiography or CT for any associated vertebral abnormalities.