Characterization of experimental spinal cord injury with magnetization transfer ratio histograms

Joseph C. McGowan, Jeffery I. Berman, J. Chetley Ford, Ehud Lavi, David B. Hackney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study was designed to characterize the severity of tissue damage in experimental spinal cord injury using magnetization transfer (MT) histogram analysis. Seven Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to laminectomy and standard weight-drop injury to the spinal cord (four rats at 15 cm drop-height and three rats at 2.5 cm). Three control animals underwent laminectomy without weight-drop. After sacrifice, the animals were scanned at 1.9 T with a pulsed off-resonance MT technique. Following magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, the cords were embedded in paraffin and sectioned into 5-μm sections for semiquantitative histopathological analysis. Composite histograms were generated using data spanning an axial distance of 3 cm centered on the injury site. MT histogram parameters, such as the amount of tissue with statistical correspondence to normal white matter, were highly predictive of histopathological results, including myelination state and neurofilament damage. Less correlation with edema was observed, suggesting that the technique was most sensitive to true tissue alteration. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • MR
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Magnetization transfer contrast
  • Spinal cord
  • Spinal cord trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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