What is the role of spine MRI in the workup of focal muscular atrophy (FMA)?

Updated: Feb 20, 2018
  • Author: Sridharan Ramaratnam, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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This study may be useful when a disease of the spinal cord, spine, or roots is suspected.

In some patients with monomelic amyotrophy, MRI demonstrates focal and unilateral atrophy in the lower cervical cord, which is limited to the anterior horn region. MRI may also reveal forward displacement of the cervical dural sac and compressive flattening of the lower cervical cord during neck flexion.

MRI findings in white North American patients with Hirayama disease include loss of attachment (LOA) on neutral images and forward displacement of the dura with flexion. Findings are often present on neutral MRIs and are better delineated in the flexion MRI. [51]

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