Edinburgh Imaging

MSc projects 1112 004

Advances in the imaging of spinal cord abnormalities in multiple sclerosis (opinion review).

  • Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating chronically progressive disease.  The clinical presentations and disease course of multiple sclerosis is diverse. Spinal cord involvement is common and plays a significant role in diagnostic criterion currently in practice. Spinal cord abnormalities seen in multiple sclerosis can include focal changes and cord atrophy which often leads to significant motor dysfunction. Conventional imaging techniques have been refined over the past decade and more advanced imaging techniques have been developed for better visualisation of lesions.
  • Aim: The objective of this paper is to present most up-to-date overview of imaging techniques used for spinal cord in multiple sclerosis and the role of spinal imaging in diagnosis. Underline advances in existing conventional techniques. Presenting advanced techniques and the evidence behind them, with an overview of challenges and limitations.
  • Method: A literature based review. This paper is based on current research studies and peer review articles. Articles published since 2005 are included. Multiple internet based search engines such as the University Edinburgh Sercher are used for literature gathering.
  • Conclusion:  Imaging techniques deployed in studying and evaluating patients with multiple sclerosis are continuously improving. Although remain complementary, spinal cord imaging is now playing a more assertive role in diagnosing MS. Despite the technical difficulties, most of the non-conventional methods used in the brain have been applied in the spinal cord with various degree of success. In recent years these techniques have been refined leading to more robust qualitative and quantitative assessments with a higher rate of reproducibility. Undoubtedly, advances in imaging the spinal cord have increased our understanding of the disease pathophysiology with potential applications in research and in clinical practice. 
Project type:
  • Systematic review
Imaging keywords:


Application / disease keywords:
  • 11-12