Diffusion tensor imaging of the spinal cord

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1064:50-60. doi: 10.1196/annals.1340.011.


The spinal cord is an important part of the nervous system and provides the connection of the brain with the periphery. It consists not only of a large number of longitudinal fibers, but also contains collateral fibers and a central gray matter structure, which are part of autonomous circuits. Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging can reveal this complex fiber architecture in great detail. This report summarizes the normal findings for ADC, diffusion anisotropy, and diffusion eigenvector directions in the spinal cord. Sagittal and axial diffusion-weighted images of the spinal cord were obtained with line scan diffusion imaging (LSDI) in adults, children, infants, and a spinal cord specimen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anisotropy
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Osteophytosis / physiopathology