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Chiropractic Research Review

Discussing MRI of the Spine and Spinal Cord

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used to evaluate the spine and spinal column. Although advances in magnetic resonance myelography and magnetic resonance diffusion weighting have enhanced the sensitivity of MRI as an imaging modality, misdiagnosis still may occur because of the variety of structures present in the anterior and posterior aspects of the spine.

This article presents an overview of magnetic resonance imaging of the spine, with particular emphasis placed on such topics as:

* normal magnetic resonance anatomy;
* standard and advanced imaging techniques;
* general indications for use;
* types of artifacts;
* pitfalls and limitations; and
* potential advances/uses.

Conclusions: Although MRI does not provide the detail possible with computed tomography (CT), it is capable of discriminating the various bone and soft-tissue structures of the spine. The authors note that "MRI enables the imaging specialist to evaluate a large anatomic region in multiple planes," suggesting its value in examining the spinal cord.

Note: This is a very good article to help those practitioners who have had little or no training in MRI reading. It is also a good review article for those who have not reviewed MRI reading techniques in some time.

Pierre-Jerome C, Arslan A, Bekkelund SI. MRI of the spine and spinal cord: imaging techniques, normal anatomy, artifacts, and pitfalls. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Sept. 2000:23(7), pp470-75.
Reprints: Tel: (800) 325-4177 (ext. 4350); Fax: (314) 432-1380

Chiropractic Research Review

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