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J Korean Soc Radiol. 2017 Feb;76(2):111-120. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.3348/jksr.2017.76.2.111
Kim HJ , Lee JW , Lee E , Kim SG , Kang Y , Ahn JM , Kang HS .
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. joonwoo2@gmail.com
Abstract

PURPOSE: Inflammatory and neoplastic intramedullary spinal cord lesions have overlapping clinical features, and it is occasionally difficult to distinguish one from the other on conventional magnetic resonance imaging. We aimed to compare diffusion tensor imaging findings between inflammatory and neoplastic intramedullary spinal cord lesions, with a specific focus on patterns of fiber tracking. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diffusion tensor imaging was performed in patients with either inflammatory or neoplastic intramedullary spinal cord lesions. The fiber tracking patterns (categorized as “intact,” “displaced,” or “interrupted”) were compared between these two groups. RESULTS: Eight patients were included in the study: 5 patients with pathologically or clinically confirmed inflammatory lesions and 3 patients with pathologically or clinically confirmed neoplastic lesions. Among the 5 patients with inflammatory lesions, 2 patients exhibited the displaced pattern and 3 patients exhibited the intact pattern. Among the 3 patients with neoplastic lesions, 1 patient exhibited the intact pattern, 1 patient exhibited the displaced pattern, and 1 patient exhibited the interrupted pattern. CONCLUSION: In this study, inflammatory and neoplastic intramedullary spinal cord lesions were not clearly differentiated by fiber tracking; both conditions can present with overlapping features such as displaced fibers. The exclusion of inflammatory conditions based on the presence of displaced fibers in fiber tracking images should be avoided.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.