Spinal cord and optic nerve MRI patterns in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: Spinal cord imaging in the context of acute myelitis in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) usually reveals a longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) lesion extending over 3 or more vertebral segments. Sagittal T2-weighted MRI of the thoracic spinal cord (A) demonstrates a typical LETM lesion involving most of the thoracic spinal cord (arrows). LETM lesions have a predilection for the central cord, as shown by axial T2-weighted (B; arrowhead) and T1-weighted MRI with gadolinium (C; arrowhead). Cervical LETM may extend into the medulla, a characteristic NMOSD pattern demonstrated in D (arrows; sagittal T2-weighted MRI) and E (arrows; sagittal T1-weighted MRI with gadolinium). Acute LETM lesions can be associated with intralesional hypointensity as shown by sagittal T1-weighted MRI (F; arrow); in this example, a rim of gadolinium enhancement surrounds the hypointense region. Chronic sequelae of LETM may include longitudinally extensive segments of spinal cord atrophy as shown by T2-weighted MRI using sagittal (G; the 2 arrowheads indicate the atrophic segment and the top arrow indicates the normal diameter of unaffected cervical spinal cord) and axial planes (H; arrowhead shows an atrophic spinal cord). Fast spin echo fat-suppressed T2-weighted MRI in the axial (I) and coronal (J) planes shows increased signal throughout most the length of the left optic nerve, especially its posterior portion (arrows). Axial T1-weighted MRI with gadolinium shows enhancement of the optic chiasm (K; arrows). These images are from 2 different patients experiencing acute optic neuritis in the setting of NMOSD. | Wingerchuk, D. M., Banwell, B., Bennett, J. L., Cabre, P., Carroll, W., Chitnis, T., de Seze, J., Fujihara, K., Greenberg, B., Jacob, A., Jarius, S., Lana-Peixoto, M., Levy, M., Simon, J. H., Tenembaum, S., Traboulsee, A. L., Waters, P., Wellik, K. E., Weinshenker, B. G., & International Panel for NMO Diagnosis (2015). International consensus diagnostic criteria for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders. Neurology, 85(2), 177–189.

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