Neuroimaging of tuberculous myelitis: analysis of ten cases and review of literature

Document Type



Medicine; Neurology; Radiology


We retrospectively reviewed the clinical and neuroimaging features of 10 patients with tuberculous myelitis. The most common presenting symptoms were fever (70%) and paraplegia (60%). Bladder and bowel symptoms were present in 90% patients. On MRI, the involvement of the cervical/thoracic segment of the spinal cord was most commonly seen (90%). The most consistent finding was hyperintense signals on T2-weighted MRI. T1-weighted images showed isointense (n= 5) and hypointense (n= 4) signals in the spinal cord lesions. Post-contrast enhancement was present in 6 patients, epidural enhancement in 4 patients, and cord swelling in 2 patients.

We reviewed more than 250 published cases with the diagnosis of tuberculous myelitis and radiculomyelitis with special attention to MRI findings. It is predominantly a disease of the thoracic spinal cord. Most spinal cord lesions appear as hyperintense on T2 and iso- or hypointense on T1-weighted images. MRI findings in patients with spinal cord tuberculosis have both diagnostic and prognostic significance. Cord atrophy or cavitation and the presence of syrinx on MRI may be associated with poor outcome.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Neuroimaging