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ECTRIMS 2022 | Brain MRI vs. spinal cord MRI in measuring cervical spinal cord atrophy

Burcu Zeydan, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, discusses a study investigating the agreement between upper cervical spinal cord measurements obtained from brain and cervical cord MRIs. Brain and spinal cord MRI pairs from patients with multiple sclerosis attained within 10 days were included in the study. An established manual method was used to measure each cervical cord area from C2 to C7 and averaged to calculate cervical average segmental area of the entire cervical cord from cord MRIs. A novel automated method was used to measure upper cervical cord volumes (C2 to C3) from brain MRIs. It was found that manual C2 and C3 areas from cord MRIs correlated with corresponding automated C2 and C3 volumes from brain MRIs. Additionally, all parameters were inversely correlated with age. These results suggest that although spinal cord MRIs provide a more sensitive analysis of cord atrophy since they reflect the cranio-caudal atrophy, brain MRIs can be a good alternative to dedicated cord MRIs by providing reasonable approximations from existing scans. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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