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Biomechanical comparison of spinal cord compression types occurring in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy

Abstract : Background Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy results from spine degenerations narrowing the spinal canal and inducing cord compressions. Prognosis is challenging. This study aimed at simulating typical spinal cord compressions observed in patients with a realistic model to better understand pathogenesis for later prediction of patients' evolution. Methods A 30% reduction in cord cross-sectional area at C5-C6 was defined as myelopathy threshold based on Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy features from literature and MRI measurements in 20 patients. Four main compression types were extracted from MRIs and simulated with a comprehensive three-dimensional finite element spine model. Median diffuse, median focal and lateral types were modelled as disk herniation while circumferential type additionally involved ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. All stresses were quantified along inferior-superior axis, compression development and across atlas-defined spinal cord regions. Findings Anterior gray and white matter globally received the highest stress while lateral pathways were the least affected. Median diffuse compression induced the highest stresses. Circumferential type focused stresses in posterior gray matter. Along inferior-superior axis, those two types showed a peak of constraints at compression site while median focal and lateral types showed lower values but extending further. Interpretation Median diffuse type would be the most detrimental based on stress amplitude. Anterior regions would be the most at risk, except for circumferential type where posterior regions would be equally affected. In addition to applying constraints, ischemia could be a significant component explaining the early demyelination reported in lateral pathways. Moving towards patient-specific simulations, biomechanical models could become strong predictors for degenerative changes.
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Contributor : Virginie Callot <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 3:55:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 30, 2020 - 1:08:06 PM


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Simon Lévy, Guillaume Baucher, Pierre-Hugues Roche, Morgane Evin, Virginie Callot, et al.. Biomechanical comparison of spinal cord compression types occurring in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy. Clinical Biomechanics, Elsevier, 2020, pp.105174. ⟨10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2020.105174⟩. ⟨hal-02992367⟩



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