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  Quantitative MRI of rostral spinal cord and brain regions is predictive of functional recovery in acute spinal cord injury

Seif, M., Curt, A., Thompson, A. J., Grabher, P., Weiskopf, N., & Freund, P. (2018). Quantitative MRI of rostral spinal cord and brain regions is predictive of functional recovery in acute spinal cord injury. NeuroImage: Clinical, 20, 556-563. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2018.08.026.

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Seif, Maryam 1, 2, Author
Curt, Armin1, Author
Thompson, Alan J. 3, Author
Grabher, Patrick 1, Author
Weiskopf, Nikolaus2, 4, Author           
Freund, Patrick1, 2, 3, 4, Author           
1Balgrist Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205649              
3Department of Brain Repair & Rehabilitation, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Acute micro-structural changes; Brain and spinal cord atrophy; Quantitative neuroimaging; Spinal cord injury; Voxel-based morphometry and quantification
 Abstract: Objective: To reveal the immediate extent of trauma-induced neurodegenerative changes rostral to the level of lesion and determine the predictive clinical value of quantitative MRI (qMRI) following acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Methods: Twenty-four acute SCI patients and 23 healthy controls underwent a high-resolution T1-weighted protocol. Eighteen of those patients and 20 of controls additionally underwent a multi-parameter mapping (MPM) MRI protocol sensitive to the content of tissue structure, including myelin and iron. Patients were examined clinically at baseline, 2, 6, 12, and 24 months post-SCI. We assessed volume and microstructural changes in the spinal cord and brain using T1-weighted MRI, magnetization transfer (MT), longitudinal relaxation rate (R1), and effective transverse relaxation rate (R2*) maps. Regression analysis determined associations between acute qMRI parameters and recovery. Results: At baseline, cord area and its anterior-posterior width were decreased in patients, whereas MT, R1, and R2* parameters remained unchanged in the cord. Within the cerebellum, volume decrease was paralleled by increases of MT and R2* parameters. Early grey matter changes were observed within the primary motor cortex and limbic system. Importantly, early volume and microstructural changes of the cord and cerebellum predicted functional recovery following injury. Conclusions: Neurodegenerative changes rostral to the level of lesion occur early in SCI, with varying temporal and spatial dynamics. Early qMRI markers of spinal cord and cerebellum are predictive of functional recovery. These neuroimaging biomarkers may supplement clinical assessments and provide insights into the potential of therapeutic interventions to enhance neural plasticity.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-07-112018-02-232018-08-172018-08-19
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.08.026
PMC: PMC6115607
PMID: 30175042
Other: eCollection 2018
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : SRH Holding
Project name : -
Grant ID : WFL-CH-007/14
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Wings for Life Austria
Project name : Antibodies against Nogo-A to enhance plasticity, regeneration and functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury, a multicenter European clinical proof of concept trial / NISCI
Grant ID : 681094
Funding program : Horizon 2020
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : Entschlüsselung der pathophysiologischen Prozesse induziert durch eine Querschnittlähmung: Anwendung von MRT basierter in vivo und ex vivo Histologie / hMRIofSCI
Grant ID : 01EW1711B
Funding program : ERA-NET Neuron
Funding organization : German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : Clinical Research Priority Program (CRPP)
Funding organization : University of Zurich

Source 1

Title: NeuroImage: Clinical
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 20 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 556 - 563 Identifier: ISSN: 2213-1582
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2213-1582