Scientific article
Open access

Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: How to Identify the Best Responders to Surgery?

Published inJournal of Clinical Medicine, vol. 9, no. 3
Publication date2020

Surgery is the only definitive treatment for degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM), however, the degree of neurological recovery is often unpredictable. Here, we assess the utility of a multidimensional diagnostic approach, consisting of clinical, neurophysiological, and radiological parameters, to identify patients likely to benefit most from surgery. Thirty-six consecutive patients were prospectively analyzed using the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) score, MEPs/SSEPs and advance and conventional MRI parameters, at baseline, and 3- and 12-month postoperatively. Patients were subdivided into "normal" and "best" responders (<50%, ≥50% improvement in mJOA), and correlation between Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) parameters, mJOA, and MEP/SSEP latencies were examined. Twenty patients were "best" responders and 16 were "normal responders", but there were no statistical differences in age, T2 hyperintensity, and midsagittal diameter between them. There was a significant inverse correlation between the MEPs central conduction time and mJOA in the preoperative period (p = 0.0004), and a positive correlation between fractional anisotropy (FA) and mJOA during all the phases of the study, and statistically significant at 1-year (r = 0.66, p = 0.0005). FA was significantly higher amongst "best responders" compared to "normal responders" preoperatively and at 1-year (p = 0.02 and p = 0.009). A preoperative FA > 0.55 was predictor of a better postoperative outcome. Overall, these results support the concept of a multidisciplinary approach in the assessment and management of DCM.

  • Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM)
  • Surgical outcome
  • MRI
  • DTI
  • FA
  • ADC
  • Signal changes spinal canal
  • Neurophysiology
  • SSEP
  • MEP
Citation (ISO format)
SEVERINO, Rocco, NOURI, Aria, TESSITORE, Enrico. Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: How to Identify the Best Responders to Surgery? In: Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2020, vol. 9, n° 3. doi: 10.3390/jcm9030759
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2077-0383

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