Acute transverse myelopathy: Spinal and cranial MR study with clinical follow-up

A. Campi, M. Filippi, G. Comi, V. Martinelli, C. Baratti, M. Rovaris, G. Scotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate the contribution of MR in determining the cause of acute transverse myelopathy, to determine the frequency and types of the intracranial lesions detectable on MR at the onset of the disease, and to monitor clinical and MR evolution of the disease. METHODS: Spinal and cranial MR images were obtained for 30 patients with acute transverse myelopathy. Gadopentetate dimeglumine was administered in 10 patients. Mean follow-up time was 18 months. RESULTS: Spinal cord MR findings were abnormal in 14 of 30 patients. The abnormal MR can be divided into group A, in which one segment was involved (8 patients), and group B, in which more than one segment was involved (6 patients). In both groups there were 2 patients with enhancing lesions. Enhancement was less homogeneous in the group B patients. Enhancement did not change with increased length of lesion. At follow-up, the diagnostic categories of the patients were multiple sclerosis (8 patients), encephalomyelitis (1 patient), vital myelitis (3 patients), and myelopathy of unknown cause (18 patients). After the episode of acute transverse myelopathy, in 4 of 8 patients in group A and in 4 of 5 patients with normal spinal MR but abnormal brain MR findings clinical signs of multiple sclerosis developed. In no patients in group B did multiple sclerosis develop. The final diagnoses for the 4 patients with gadolinium-enhancing spinal lesions were myelopathy of unknown cause (2 patients), multiple sclerosis (1 patient), and viral myelitis (1 patient). CONCLUSION: MR contributed to establishing the diagnosis in 40% of our cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute transverse myelopathy: Spinal and cranial MR study with clinical follow-up'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this