Author(s): Locatelli ER, Laureno R, Ballard P, Mark AS
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Little is known about vitamin B12 deficiency myelopathy's magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) manifestations and their relationship to the onset, evolution, and resolution of neurologic signs and symptoms. METHODS: We present a case and review eleven additional reported cases of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord detected by MRI. RESULTS: Our patient had increased T2-weighted signal and gadolinium contrast enhancement of the posterior columns in the cervical and thoracic regions and enhancement of the lateral columns in the high cervical region. This is a case with imaging evidence for lateral column lesions. Two prior reports have shown posterior column enhancement. T1-weighted images may show decreased signal in the posterior columns and sometimes demonstrate reversible spinal cord swelling. MRI abnormalities typically improve after vitamin replacement therapy. However, clinical signs may persist despite resolution of imaging abnormalities, and these abnormalities do not always resolve completely. In addition, symptoms may precede the imaging abnormality. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin B12 deficiency may produce an increased T2-weighted signal, decreased T1-weighted signal, and contrast enhancement of the posterior and lateral columns of the spinal cord, mainly of the cervical and upper thoracic segments. Because the symptoms may precede any imaging abnormality, it is clear that spinal cord MRI may not be a highly sensitive, early test for subacute combined degeneration.
This article was published in Can J Neurol Sci
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy