Imaging techniques

What is the role of dynamic or novel imaging techniques and neurophysiology in the assessment of DCM? 

Podcast Episode 9: Imaging techniques

Episode 9 of the AO Spine RECODE-DCM Top 10 podcast series looks at the role of dynamic or novel imaging techniques and neurophysiology in the assessment of Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy. Ben Davies and Michelle Starkey are joined by Bizhan Aarabi, Rosie Hillman, and Shekar Kurpad.

Current evidence and reason for uncertainties

No guidelines identified.


Systematic reviews that need updating or extending

Martin AR, Aleksanderek I, Cohen-Adad J, Tarmohamed Z, Tetreault L, Smith N, Cadotte DW, Crawley A, Ginsberg H, Mikulis DJ, Fehlings MG. Translating state-of-the-art spinal cord MRI techniques to clinical use: A systematic review of clinical studies utilizing DTI, MT, MWF, MRS, and fMRI. Neuroimage Clin. 2015 Dec 4;10:192-238.

Ellingson BM, Salamon N, Holly LT. Advances in MR imaging for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Eur Spine J. 2015 Apr;24 Suppl 2:197-208.

Source of uncertainty

  • Spinal surgeons


  • Other healthcare professionals


  • People with DCM and their supporters


  • Original suggestions*

    * This list shows the original survey submission(s) that informed the indicative uncertainties and the resulting priority question.

    The financial cost for the care of people living with DCM, 

    What are the health economic implications of DCM?    What are the health economic impact of surgical management of DCM?    

    The financial and any other form of cost needed to DCM patient care

    Financial support in the long term

    How often do patients attend the emergency department for complaints related to their DCM?  

    Reducing costs to patients.

    Financial support in the community sufficient  

    How often does the disablility caused by DCM result in loss of work?

    How can we reduce the total cost of care for managing DCM

    Health economics of treatment  

    What is the health service cost per year of cervical myelopathy?

    Does DCM present a significant burden on emergency departments?   

    Cost of QALY gained

    What is the cost of care annually for moderate and severe DCM?  

    Back to work ratio   

    Another interesting Pain Cloud - I would raise PAIN to above all other issues!!!!  The change to life opportunities has been huge, along with a very substantial dependence on help with daily living.  My wife acknowledges that without my help she would have to go into a nursing home.  Prior to and following surgery she has become very dependent on my doing virtually all the daily household functions that she used to do.  Life has become very limiting with PAIN being a major limiter on recovering a more normal life and activities.  So most of the words in the Word Cloud are relevant to my wife's situation.   

    What's the cost per QALY gained?

    Societal burden

    What are the cost of rehabilitation in relation to DCM?