A comparison of computed tomography measures for diagnosing cervical spinal stenosis associated with myelopathy: A case-control study

Brett Arthur Freedman, C. Edward Hoffler, Brian M. Cameron, John M. Rhee, Maneesh Bawa, David G. Malone, Melissa Bent, Tim S. Yoon

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2 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective comparative study. Purpose: To assess differences in computed tomography (CT) imaging parameters between patients with cervical myelopathy and controls. Overview of Literature: There is a lack of information regarding the best predictor of symptomatic stenosis based on osseous canal dimensions. We postulate that smaller osseous canal dimensions increase the risk of symptomatic central stenosis. Methods: CT images and medical records of patients with cervical myelopathy (19 patients, 8 males; average age, 64.4±13.4 years) and controls (18 patients, 14 males; average age, 60.4±11.0 years) were collected. A new measure called the laminar roof pitch angle (=angle between the lamina) was conducted along with linear measures, ratios and surrogates of canal perimeter and area at each level C2-C7 (222 levels). Receiver-operator curves were used to assess the diagnostic value of each. Rater reliability was assessed for the measures. Results: The medial-lateral (ML) diameter (at mid-pedicle level) and calculated canal area (=anterior-posterior.×ML diameters) were the most accurate and highly reliable. ML diameter below 23.5 mm and calculated canal area below 300 mm2 generated 82% to 84% sensitivity and 67% to 68% sensitivity. No significant correlations were identified between age, height, weight, body mass in dex and gender for each of the CT measures. Conclusions: CT measures including ML dimensions were most predictive. This study is the first to identify an important role for the ML dimension in cases of slowly progressive compressive myelopathy. A ML reserve may be protective when the canal is progressively compromised in the anterior-posterior dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalAsian Spine Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Cervical cord
  • Cervicle vertebrae
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Spinal cord diseae
  • Spinal stenosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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