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Absent cord sign in acute spinal trauma

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      Abstract

      Review of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in 100 patients suffering acute spinal trauma from 1985 to 1987 revealed four patients who had suffered thoracic spine fractures and acute subarachnoid hematomas. The spinal cord was not demonstrated on the T1-weighted sagittal MRI due to the similarities in signal intensity between the spinal cord and acute hemorrhage. Nonvisualization of the thoracic cord should not be presumed to be artifactual until subarachnoid hematoma is excluded.
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