Mark A. Horsfield, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The spinal cord is a clinically eloquent site for the assessment of neurological disorders, particularly multiple sclerosis (MS). After a short historical introduction to atrophy as measured from X-ray computed tomography images, this chapter discusses the merits of spinal cord atrophy, which is assessed using magnetic resonance imaging as a marker of disease state and progression. The different image-processing approaches for measuring cord cross-sectional area from magnetic resonance images are reviewed and critically appraised. The particular region of the spinal cord to which the methods can be applied is also evaluated. The reproducibility of the different methods is compared, and recommendations are made about the general approach required to assess cord atrophy accurately. Results from clinical studies that have included measures of cord atrophy are reviewed, along with the role of atrophy measures in clinical trials for new treatments for MS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantitative MRI of the Spinal Cord
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780123969736
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Active contour
  • Active surface
  • Atrophy
  • Edge detection
  • Reproducibility
  • Snake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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