Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the human lumbar spinal cord.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To determine whether consistent regions of activity could be observed in the lumbar spinal cord of single subjects with spin-echo functional MRI (fMRI) if several repeated experiments were performed within a single imaging session.

Materials and methods

Repeated fMRI experiments of the human lumbar spinal cord were performed at 1.5 T with a single-shot spin-echo technique (half-Fourier single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE)) as used by previous investigators, and a modified method (fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR)-HASTE) that nulled the otherwise highly variable signal from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).


FLAIR-HASTE reduced the variability of the signal in the CSF region to background levels, and presumably reduced associated artifacts in the spinal cord. Consistent areas of activation in the spinal cord in response to a thermal stimulus just below the knee were not observed across the fMRI experiments with either method.


FLAIR-HASTE was useful for removing artifact in the spinal cord signal induced by variability in the CSF signal. However, with the techniques used in this study, we were not able to confirm the presence of a consistent fMRI response in the lumbar spinal cord because of the signal enhancement by extravascular protons (SEEP) effect during thermal stimulation of the hindlimb.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moffitt, MA; Dale, BM; Duerk, JL; Grill, WM

Published Date

  • May 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 527 - 535

PubMed ID

  • 15834921

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-2586

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1053-1807

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jmri.20314


  • eng