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Imaging Correlates with Exam in Children with Spinal Injury

May be useful for children unable to participate in standard international exam

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- MRI correlates well with the results of a standard international examination to determine neurologic level in children with chronic spinal cord injury, suggesting that MRI may be useful for children unable to participate in the exam, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

Amer F. Samdani, M.D., from Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia, and colleagues reviewed the medical records of 26 children with spinal cord injury who had results available for both the International Standards for Neurologic Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISCSCI) exam and MRI of the spine.

The researchers found that the ISCSCI neurologic level correlated well with MRI level of injury. In general, the ISCSCI neurologic level was two-thirds of a vertebral level cephalad to the center of the lesion observed by MRI. A child with MRI evidence of complete cord disruption was classified as having incomplete spinal cord injury based on ISCSCI testing, suggesting that the ISCSCI exam may be unreliable in determining the completeness of spinal cord injury, according to the authors.

"Our results suggest MRI may be a useful adjunct for the determination of neurologic level in children unable to participate with the examination," Samdani and colleagues conclude. "Our results also suggest caution in using the ISCSCI for the determination of completeness in young children. Further research into new methods to determine completeness of injury is warranted."

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