Noninvasive functional studies on human spinal cord by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are gaining attention because of the promising applications in the study of healthy and injured central nervous system. The findings obtained are generally consistent with the anatomic knowledge based on invasive methods, but the origin and specificity of functional contrast is still debated. In this paper, a review of current knowledge and major issues about functional MRI (fMRI) in the human spinal cord is presented, with emphasis on the main methodological and technical problems and on forthcoming applications as clinical tool.
- Functional MRI
- Spinal cord