A simplified algorithm for diagnosis of spinal cord lesions

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. May-Jun 2015;44(3):256-66. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 5.


Neuroimaging is indispensable for evaluation of Myelopathy not only for localization but also for etiologic determination. MRI is the preferred examination for further characterization of the majority of these conditions. These include traumatic, inflammatory, infections, compressive and neoplastic conditions. This article provides an overview of a variety of pathologies that afflict the spinal cord in an easy to understand format. Their respective imaging manifestations on MRI and differential diagnoses are focused in this review. Early diagnosis and treatment of Myelopathy is critical in preventing or arresting neurological morbidity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Dermoid Cyst / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Myelitis / diagnosis
  • Myelitis, Transverse / diagnosis
  • Neuromyelitis Optica / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology
  • Subacute Combined Degeneration / diagnosis