Neurovascular spinal cord injuries are very prevalent and in a busy trauma center radiology practice these injuries are commonly seen. Imaging neurovascular injuries has been greatly facilitated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). The histopathological changes that occur with spinal cord trauma have been found to correlate well with what is seen on MRI examinations. The MRI findings in spinal cord trauma have also been found to be useful in determining patient prognosis. Spinal cord infarcts due to arterial injury from trauma are relatively rare, but it has been shown by imaging that vertebral artery injuries are not an unusual occurrence. The specific findings associated with neurovascular injuries will be described with an emphasis on the findings on MRI and MRA examinations. MRI and MRA techniques have become the procedure of choice for evaluating neurovascular injuries because of their proven accuracy and because they are non-invasive. Conventional angiography, although, does remain quite useful for evaluating arterial injuries.
- Magnetic resonance angiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging