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INTRODUCTION: We investigated microstructural changes in the spinal cord, separately for white matter and gray matter, in patients with cervical spondylosis by using diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI). METHODS: We studied 13 consecutive patients with cervical myelopathy (15 affected sides and 11 unaffected sides). After conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, DKI data were acquired by using a 3T MR imaging scanner. Values for fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and mean diffusional kurtosis (MK) were calculated and compared between unaffected and affected spinal cords, separately for white matter and gray matter. RESULTS: Tract-specific analysis of white matter in the lateral funiculus showed no statistical differences between the affected and unaffected sides. In gray matter, only MK was significantly lower in the affected spinal cords than in unaffected spinal cords (0.60±0.18 vs. 0.73±0.13, P=0.0005, Wilcoxon's signed rank test). CONCLUSIONS: MK values in the spinal cord may reflect microstructural changes and gray matter damage and can potentially provide more information beyond that obtained with conventional diffusion metrics.

Original publication




Journal article


Magn Reson Imaging

Publication Date





428 - 432


Apparent diffusion coefficient, Cervical spondylosis, Diffusional kurtosis, Fractional anisotropy, Gray matter, Spinal cord, Algorithms, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Female, Gray Matter, Humans, Image Enhancement, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Male, Middle Aged, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Spinal Cord, Spondylosis, White Matter