Feasibility of rapid spine magnetic resonance evaluation for spinal cord syrinx in the pediatric population

Maura E Ryan*, Alok Jaju, Karen Rychlik, Jan Pachon, Robin Bowman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigates the feasibility of ultrafast fluid sensitive techniques for evaluation of pediatric spinal cord syrinx. Rapid imaging could obviate the need for sedation, which is often required for children undergoing lengthier standard spine imaging. Methods: Children undergoing standard spine imaging for Chiari malformation, suspected Chiari malformation, or syrinx were included. Patients who provided informed consent were imaged with rapid acquisition sagittal and axial T2 HASTE spine sequences in addition to standard spine imaging. Standard and rapid spine imaging were then reviewed separately by a pediatric neuroradiologist. The presence or absence of syrinx, syrinx diameter, and length were assessed. The degree of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, conus position, and evaluation of the filum were also recorded. Results: Seventy-six patients aged 1 month to 18 years (mean 7 years) met the inclusion criteria. The sensitivity and specificity of rapid spine imaging for syrinx was 87.8% and 94.7% respectively. All syrinxes > 2.3 mm in diameter were identified with the rapid spine sequences. There was no statistically significant difference between rapid and standard spine imaging in assessment of syrinx diameter or length. Compared with standard spine imaging, rapid spine sequences demonstrated a 100% sensitivity for low-lying conus and a 98.2% sensitivity for cerebellar tonsillar ectopia. The filum was identified on only 31.6% of the rapid spine studies. Conclusion: Rapid T2 imaging demonstrated a high sensitivity for the presence and extent of spinal cord syrinx and may provide an alternative to traditional, lengthier standard spine imaging in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Chiari malformation
  • Pediatric
  • Rapid MR
  • Spinal cord
  • Syrinx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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