Back to Archived Journals » Journal of Neurorestoratology » Volume 4

A combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor image to explore structure–function relationship in healthy and myelopathic spinal cord

Authors Cui JL, Li G, Mak KC, Luk KD, Hu Y

Received 5 July 2016

Accepted for publication 1 August 2016

Published 6 October 2016 Volume 2016:4 Pages 69—78

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JN.S116450

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Hari Shanker Sharma


Jiao-Long Cui,1 Guangsheng Li,2 Kin-Cheung Mak,1,3 Keith Dip-Kei Luk,1 Yong Hu1-3

1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Orthopaedics, Spinal Division, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Guangdong, 3Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Orthopaedic Trauma, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China

Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a degenerative disorder that can chronically damage the spinal cord. The aim of this study was to investigate the column-specific degeneration in the cervical cord with CSM and explore the structure–function relationship by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Patients and methods: DTI and blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI were obtained from 14 healthy controls and six patients with CSM at 3 T. The fractional anisotropy (FA) value of anterior, lateral, and posterior column and the BOLD signal in response to somatosensory stimulation were compared among three groups: the average value of levels from C3 to C8 in the control and CSM groups and the value at maximal compression site in the CSM (CSM-mc) group. The correlation between FA value and BOLD signal was used to assess the structure–function relationship.
Results: The FA value in CSM-mc was lower than control-ave in all the columns (P<0.01) and lower than CSM-ave in the lateral and posterior column (P<0.05). The BOLD signal in CSM was significantly higher than that in the control (P<0.001). In the posterior column, a significant correlation between BOLD signal and FA value was found (P<0.05).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the microstructural damage in CSM was correlated with functional changes. DTI combined with fMRI reveals the relationship between structural damage and neural activity, which might provide a promising method to reveal the underlying pathomechanism of CSM.

Keywords: spinal cord, fMRI, blood oxygen level dependent, diffusion tensor imaging, ­cervical spondylotic myelopathy

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]