Stanford researchers: MRI scans can predict spinal cord injury recovery


An international study out of Stanford (Calif.) University found measuring the width of spared spinal cord tissue at an injury site can help predict patient recovery.

Researchers included 227 cervical spinal cord injury patients from Switzerland, Germany and Colorado, according to a July 3 feature from Stanford. The study used MRI images to measure the remaining spinal cord tissue, or tissue bridges, around the injury site. 

The new study found that for every millimeter of preserved tissue bridge width, a patient was likely to gain 5.9 points on their motor score and 6.4 points on their light touch score after three months.

"Our model can tell you, depending on how many millimeters of tissue that’s spared, how much function they're likely to gain during a follow-up period of three months or 12 months," Dario Pfyffer, PhD, lead author of the study published in The Lancet Neurology, said in the feature.

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