Cervical spinal functional magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord injured patient during electrical stimulation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: To evaluate the spatial distribution and signal intensity changes following spinal cord activation in patients with spinal cord injury. METHODS: This study used spinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) based on signal enhancement by extra-vascular water protons (SEEP) to assess elicited responses during subcutaneous electrical stimulation at the right elbow and right thumb in the cervical spinal cord. RESULTS: Seven healthy volunteers and seven patients with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) were included in this study. Significant functional activation was observed mainly in the right side of the spinal cord at the level of the C5-C6 cervical vertebra in both the axial and sagittal planes. A higher percentage of signal changes (4.66 ± 2.08 % in injured subjects vs. 2.78 ± 1.66 % in normal) and more average activation voxels (4.69 ± 2.59 in injured subjects vs. 2.56 ± 1.13 in normal subject) in axial plane at the C5-C6 cervical vertebra with a statistically significant difference. The same trends were observed in the sagittal plane with higher percentage of signal changes and more average activation voxels, though no statistically significant difference compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Spinal SEEP fMRI is a powerful noninvasive method for the study of local neuronal activation in the human spinal cord, which may be of clinical value for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aimed at promoting recovery of function using electrical stimulation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhong, X-P; Chen, Y-X; Li, Z-Y; Shen, Z-W; Kong, K-M; Wu, R-H

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 71 - 77

PubMed ID

  • 27311305

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-0932

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00586-016-4646-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany