Assessment of Spinal Cord Compression by Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Can It Predict Surgical Outcomes in Degenerative Compressive Myelopathy?: A Systematic Review.

Assessment of Spinal Cord Compression by Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Can it predict surgical outcomes in degenerative compressive myelopathy?: A Systematic Review.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Apr 15;
Karpova A, Arun R, Cadotte DW, Davis AM, Kulkarni AV, O’Higgins M, Fehlings MG

Study Design. Systematic review.Objective. We sought to conduct a systematic review to examine the role of MRI in predicting outcomes after surgery and to critically evaluate the evidence currently available.Summary of Background Data. Degenerative Compressive Myelopathy (DCM) is a common clinical problem associated with adverse health outcomes. While a number of studies have investigated the association between preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) characteristics and outcomes after surgery for DCM, the conclusions of these studies have often yielded differing results.Methods. Papers examining the predictive value of MRI were obtained from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PUBMED databases (1980 – 2011). 30 publications that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Two reviewers independently assessed each study regarding the level of evidence (using Sackett’s criteria) and methodological quality based on revised Cochrane quality assessment checklist.Results. 3 excellent, 1 good and 10 poor quality studies assessed cord compression – transverse area (TA) (4), compression ratio (CR) (5) and anteroposterior (AP) diameter (1). Relationship between Signal Intensity (SI) changes and surgical outcomes were reviewed by 28 studies – 8 excellent, 9 good and 13 poor quality studies. SI changes within the spinal cord included the presence of SI on T2 Weighted Image (WI) (17), area of SI on T2WI (8), degree of SI on T2WI (5), presence of SI on both T1-/T2WI (2), SI ratio on T2WI (2) and the position of SI on T2WI (1).Conclusion. Based on a combination of excellent and good quality studies, TA correlates with Recovery Ratio (RR) but not with post – operative functional score assessed by Japanese Orthopaedic Association/modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA/mJOA) scores. SI changes defined by – a) its presence on T2WI, b) its extent (focal or multisegmental), c) its brightness and d) its presence on both T1-/T2WI can predict surgical outcomes in DCM. HubMed – rehab