31 Prominent Central Canal



10.1055/b-0040-176867

31 Prominent Central Canal

Cole T. Lewis, Octavio Arevalo, Rajan P. Patel, and David I. Sandberg

31.1 Case Presentation


A 16-year-old female patient with history of a motor vehicular collision presents with complaint of neck pain and thoracic region back pain.



31.2 Imaging Analysis


Spine MRI from a 16-year-old female patient with sagittal T2-wighted (T2w; ▶ Fig. 31.1a), sagittal T1-weighted (T1w; ▶ Fig. 31.1b), and axial T2w (▶ Fig. 31.1c) images. A slightly enlarged central canal is noticed (arrows); however, there are no additional abnormalities of the spinal cord in course, overall diameter, or surrounding parenchymal signal intensity.

Fig. 31.1 (a–c)


31.3 Differential Diagnosis




  • Prominent central canal:




    • This refers to a slightly expanded central canal filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) without any spinal cord signal abnormality or enhancement.



  • Cystic spinal cord neoplasm:




    • The imaging hallmarks are cord signal abnormality, mass effect, contrast enhancement, and associated with neurological symptoms. 1



  • Syringohydromyelia:




    • Cystic dilatation of the central canal that could be isolated or associated with congenital anomalies in up to 30% of cases. 1



    • The entire spine MRI should be performed to rule out low-lying cerebellar tonsils (Chiari I malformation) as well as low-lying conus with or without fatty filum (tethered cord).



  • Myelomalacia:




    • Cord atrophy secondary to previous vascular, traumatic, or other injury.

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Jun 28, 2020 | Posted by in NEUROLOGICAL IMAGING | Comments Off on 31 Prominent Central Canal
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