Magnetic resonance imaging in the management of suspected spinal canal disease in patients with known malignancy.
AffiliationDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractAIM: The aim of this study was to examine the spectrum of spinal canal disease in patients with known malignancy using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and fifty-five patients underwent a total of 159 spinal MRI examinations over a three-year period. Patients were examined using a 1.0T magnet and a phased array surface spine coil. Sagittal T1 weighted spin echo and STIR sequences were routinely employed. Axial T1 and T2 weighted spin echo images were obtained at sites of identified pathology. Contrast enhanced sagittal and axial T1 weighted spin echo images were acquired when the unenhanced appearances did not correlate with the clinical findings or when the images suggested intradural or intramedullary disease. RESULTS: Malignant disease affecting the spinal cord or cauda equina was noted in 104/159 (65%) patients (extradural n= 78, intradural n= 20, intramedullary n= 7); one patient had evidence of both intradural and intramedullary deposits. Multiple levels of extradural cord/cauda equina compression were present in 18/78 patients (23%). The thoracic spine was the most frequently affected (74%). Bone elements were the major component of extradural compression in 11/78 patients (14%). Intradural metastases were multiple in 15/20 patients (75%). Four of the six solitary intramedullary metastases were situated in the conus medullaris. CONCLUSION: Magnetic resonance imaging of the entire spine is the investigation of choice in patients with known malignancy and suspected spinal canal disease. Contrast-enhanced images should be acquired when the unenhanced appearances do not correlate with the clinical findings or when they suggest intradural or intramedullary disease.Loughrey, G. J. (2000). Clinical Radiology55, 849-855.
CitationMagnetic resonance imaging in the management of suspected spinal canal disease in patients with known malignancy. 2000, 55 (11):849-55 Clin Radiol
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