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Diffusion tensor imaging of the spinal cord and its clinical applications

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The identification of the extent of neural damage in patients with acute or chronic spinal cord injury is imperative for the accurate prediction of neurological recovery. The changes in signal intensity shown on routine MRI sequences are of limited value for predicting functional outcome. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a novel radiological imaging technique which has the potential to identify intact nerve fibre tracts, and has been used to image the brain for a variety of conditions. DTI imaging of the spinal cord is currently only a research tool, but preliminary studies have shown that it holds considerable promise in predicting the severity of spinal cord injury.

This paper briefly reviews our current knowledge of this technique.

Correspondence should be sent to Prof Dr S Rajasekaran; e-mail:

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