Spinal cord MRI using multi-array coils and fast spin echo. II. Findings in multiple sclerosis

Neurology. 1993 Dec;43(12):2632-7. doi: 10.1212/wnl.43.12.2632.


We performed MRI of brain and spinal cord on 80 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Using multi-array coils and fast spin echo, 139 intrinsic lesions were identified in 59 patients (74%). Lesions were more common in the cervical than in the thoracic cord. Cross-sectional areas of the cord, measured from axial images at four levels, showed atrophy in 40%. Clinical disability correlated with cord atrophy but not with cord lesion load. These results show that the use of multi-array coils and fast spin echo allows rapid and sensitive detection of spinal cord lesions in MS and that the cord is involved in the majority of patients. A lack of association between cord lesions and disability may relate to limitations in MR resolution but also suggests that the mechanisms of disability in MS are complex and multifactorial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / classification
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Neck
  • Recurrence
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Thorax